Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Uses of ‘Almost’, ‘Nearly’ and ‘Practically’ (Synonyms and Differences)

 Uses of ‘Almost’, ‘Nearly’ and ‘Practically’ (Synonyms and Differences)

These tree words have similar meanings and are used frequently with the following words;
  • ALMOST; certainly, all, every, entirely, impossible, empty.
  • NEARLY; (numbers), all, always, every, finished, died.
  • PRACTICALLY; all, every, no, nothing, impossible, anything.
They are used in positive sentences;
- She almost/nearly/practically missed her train.
    They can be used before words like all, every and everybody.;
    - Nearly all the students have bikes.
    - I’ve got practically every CD they’ve made.

    * Practically is used more in spoken than in written English.
    * Nearly is the most common with numbers;
    - There were nearly 200 people at the meeting.
    They can also be used in negative sentences but it is more common to make a positive sentence with only just;
    - We only just got there in time. (or: We almost/nearly/ didn’t get here in time.)
    Almost and practically can be used before words like any, anybody, anything etc.
    - I’ll eat almost anything.
    You can also use them before no, nobody, never etc. but it is much more common to use hardly or scarcely with any, anybody, ever etc.
    - She’s hardly ever in. (or: She’s almost never in.)
    Almost can be used when you are saying that one thing is similar to another;
    - The boat looked almost like a toy.
    You can use very and so before nearly.
    - He was very nearly caught.
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