Especially vs. Specially | Meaning, Difference & Examples

Especially vs. Specially

Today, we’re going to look at two very confusing words, and hopefully, we’ll never use them wrong again. These two words are both adverbs, so here they are: especially and specially.

The Meanings of Especially and Specially

They’re very similar, but let’s get the party started with especially

Especially Definition and Examples

Use especially to mean “particularly” or “above all.” 

To give you an example in a sentence: 

  • She enjoys English music, especially Adele’s soulful melodies.
  • I am especially thankful for your comments on this website.

You can also use especially as a synonym for “very,” “really” or “extremely”: 

  • The cake was not especially tasty.
  • That song was especially good.
  • The ride was not especially long.

I would like you to pay attention to the word order in the sentence. You should not start the sentence with especially.

You should never say:

  • Especially I am interested in music.

Instead, you should always say:

  • I am especially interested in music.

Please keep this in mind, as I see this mistake a lot, and we want to avoid it.

When to Use Specially

We use specially to talk about the specific purpose of something. You can replace specially with “specifically”:

  • This bedroom was specially designed to accommodate a crib.
  • This song was specially composed for the festival.
  • She has outfits made specially for her by a famous designer.

There is another way we can use specially, and that is to describe something in a special manner, in a special way:

  • I don’t want to be treated specially because I’m a princess.

In this particular example, we used specially. However, I would probably phrase it differently and say “I don’t want to be treated differently” because, personally, I would not use specially in this context. Nonetheless, specially can be used to describe something in a special way.

Note: Especially can also be used to indicate a particular purpose, and in this case, especially and specially can be interchangeable:

  • I bought this present specially/especially for you.

Especially vs Specially Quiz

Let’s test your knowledge of when to use especially versus specially! See if you can identify the proper word to use in the following quiz:


#1. The shoes were designed _______ for athletes.

#2. I _______ enjoy chocolate ice cream.

#3. I waited _______ long for the train.

#4. This job requires someone who is _______ detail-oriented and analytical.

#5. I brought this snack _______ in case my daughter gets hungry.

#6. We provide counseling _______ tailored to the student's needs.

#7. Our tour guide made some _______ stops just for the kids to enjoy.

#8. I love Italian food, _______ pizza and pasta.

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