Ask the Editor
Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor
How to Use 'Especially' and 'Specially'
Wednesday April 11th 2018
What are the meanings of especially and specially? — Ezekiel , United States

The meanings of specially and especially are very similar, so it can be hard to figure out which one you should use. Specially means “for a special reason” or “to a special or unusual degree.” Especially means “more than usually” or “for a particular purpose or person.”

Below are a few rules to follow that will help you use specially and especially correctly:

Use especially to mean “more than usually” or “very” or “extremely,” as in these examples:

  • There is nothing especially radical about that idea. 
  • The food was not especially good. 


Use especially when something stands out from all the others, and you mean “particularly,” as in these examples: 

  • She can't be sure she will win, especially at this early stage of the campaign. 
  • The appetizers and especially the soup were delicious. 


When you mean “for a special reason,” you can use either especially or specially. They are both correct. 

  • The speech was written especially/specially for the occasion. 
  • The sweater was made especially/specially for her.


When you mean “in a special manner”, as in this example below, use specially.

  • I don't want to be treated specially.
  • I don't want to be treated especially


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