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

12:09:00
 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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