Difference Between Specially and Especially

We use specially and especially a number of times in our writings, essays. Many of us don’t know the exact difference between these two words. And we use both these words specially and especially in our general conversation too. Especially is usually used more frequently than specially. Though both are adverbs used to address someone or express something they have a different purpose when we dig into meaning.

Specially vs Especially

The main difference between specially and especially is that specially refers to a particular purpose. On the other hand, especially is used to figure out someone or something from the rest. Specially refers to a particular purpose or a particular person. While especially gives a meaning of a referring something particularly. Specially and especially are adverbs with a very slight difference in their meanings. Can be stated as a hairbreadth difference in their meaning, which confuses us in their usage.

Specially vs Especially

Specially is used to discuss a particular thing or purpose. Specially is used in the sense of ‘particularly’ or ‘specifically’. Specially is frequently used the informal word to emphasize the particularity. Specially also mean, in a special manner or a special purpose. It has various purposes in the structures. Specially is used according to the stressing the particular things or purposes.

Especially is used to emphasize something, particularly over all the things. And at times especially is used to refer to “above all”. According to Oxford English Dictionary, especially is used to figure out a person or thing over all others. Especially has many other minor definitions like very much extremely, to point out characteristic quality, etc.,

Comparison Table Between Specially and Especially

Parameters of comparisonSpeciallyEspecially
MeaningSpecially means a particular purpose.Especially means a single one above all.
DescribesSpecially describes something distinct.Especially describes something exceptional or peculiar.
SynonymsNotably, Particularly, specificallySelectively, individually, restrictively.
AntonymsAltogether, basically, mainly, mostly, generally.Broadly, generally, widely.
ExamplesThat device is specially designed for old age people.They are my best friends, especially Karthik.

What is Specially?

Specially is an adverb that means “particularly”. The word special is an adjective that refers to something unusual or notable. And the adverb form of the word special is ‘specially’.  Specially is used to indicate the intention of doing something, i.e. for what and whom that something has been done. Common definitions for especially are ‘for a particular purpose or work’, ‘to refer a characteristic quality or manner’. At times, specially can also be used instead of especially to mean extremely or particularly in the sentence.


  • She went to Paris specially to visit her grandmother’s house.
  • You can use my mobile phone for your practice, you need not buy a new one specially.
  • This drink is specially made for children.
  • Ram don’t like to be treated specially.
  • Parents specially went to the shop to buy some toys for their children.

The first sentence from the above examples describes the major purpose of the girl to visit Paris. The first sentence, specially emphasizes that her visit to Paris is to go to her grandparents’ house. The second sentence also refers to the same definition of a particular purpose. Speaker emphasizes that he need not buy a mobile phone for exams. And the third sentence emphasizes the special reason for whom the drink is made.

What is Especially?

Especially is also a common adverb that gives a meaning of ‘exceptionally’ and also refers to ‘above all’. In other words, especially is used to emphasize something much more peculiar than the ordinary one. Other common definitions of especially are ‘very much or extremely’, ‘to a great extent, ‘particularly for a certain reason’, ‘to figure out something characteristic’. In addition to the meaning, especially is considered as more formal than specially, and this is the reason behind its frequent usage in conversation.


  • I love to eat chocolates, especially dairy milk.
  • Both are good, especially the first one.
  • He is not especially interested in playing games.
  • White Bengal tigers are seen especially in India.
  • Ravin’s novel is very interesting, especially the way he explains the things to readers.

In the above examples, we can see that especially is used in different situations for various purposes to emphasize different meanings. The two major meanings of especially from the above examples are ‘extremely’ and ‘single one out from the above all’. The first, second, and last sentences are pointing to the single one above all the others of a similar kind. And third, fourth sentences are expressing the meaning “very much”. Specially can be used instead of especially, but always we may not get the same meaning.

Main Differences Between Specially and Especially

  1. Specially means a ‘particular’ purpose or thing. While especially is used to single one out of above all.
  2. Specially is used when there is a past participle in the sentence. And especially is usually placed before prepositions and conjunctions.
  3. When one wants to convey something with a specific reason or purpose, then specially is used. Similar to specially, especially is used to stress or figure out something or someone from the rest.
  4. The word specially consists of three syllables. Whereas especially is a four syllable word.
  5. Specially example: The new medicine is specially prepared for viral diseases.
    Especially example: Ajay remembers all dates, especially birthday’s of celebrities.


Specially and especially are most commonly confused words. And they are used instead of one another without any rethink. People usually think that specially and especially are synonyms for each other. But that is totally incorrect. Specially and especially bear their meanings with a very slight hairbreadth difference. But there is a difference between both these words.

Specially refers to a particular purpose or person. And especially refers to a particular person above all. Many confuse in the usage of these two words and replace one another in usage. Especially has another definition, according to Oxford dictionary, especially word is used to single out one person or thing over all others.


  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/specially
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/especially
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