Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you’ll learn about the word “actually” and how it can be one of the most dynamic words in the English language.

“I have been doing classes twice per week and during one of those classes I was talking about my current job and I said my “actual” job and my teacher corrected me. What should I have said?”

-Rodolfo, AEE Listener

Rodolfo fell into the trap of using “actually” as a false friend.

Rodolfo is from Brazil and tried to translate directly from his native language.

Today we want to show you what “actually” really means in English.

This word is super dynamic.

The best way to learn how to use it is to listen to native speakers.

We use it all of the time. If you can start using it naturally in the situations that we’ll show you today you will push your English to the advanced level.

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The important thing to remember is that “actually” DOES NOT mean “currently.”

Situations to use “actually”:

  • To disagree: “He thinks I am an expert in Spanish but actually I am only a beginner” or “He thinks I am an expert but I am only a beginner actually.”
  • To emphasize changing your mind: “Let’s grab a beer on Wednesday. Oh actually I have something on Wednesday. Let’s meet on Thursday”
  • To show surprise: “Can you believe he actually passed the test. He didn’t study at all.”
  • To add more information: “I met a funny guy on my hike. He reminded me of my friend John actually”

Other ways to say “now”:

  • At the moment
  • At this point
  • At this time
  • Up to this point

Other words that mean “actually”:

  • On second thought
  • In fact
  • The truth is
  • In reality
  • Also

Listen to the episode to hear the conversation between Lindsay and Michelle.

Leave us your sample sentences in the comments below.

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