Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you get confused when you hear natives use words like”special” or “especially” or “specialize”?

Do you know the differences between these words and how to use them.

Today we will clear up your confusion with these words and phrases so that you can feel more confident and articulate when you speak English.



I am Berhe. I really really really  appreciate you Michelle and Lindsay.

But I have question for you.

Are “especial” and “special” the same or not?

When do we use ’em?



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Be careful!

We don’t say “specially” although you might hear kids saying this.

We also don’t say ”especial.”

If you are a Spanish speaker you might be getting confused with these words because they are similar but not the same in English.


Expressions to know:

  • “Special” – This is an adjective like “special time,” “special day,” “special meal”
    • A: Michelle what special traditions did you have with your family growing up?
    • B: We used to have a special meal every Sunday morning with pancakes and fruit.
  • “Nothing (nothing) special”: This is a fun expression that can be used to show that something is not fancy or important.
  • “That special someone”: Expression that we use to describe our partner or the person that we love.
  • “Especially” This is an adverb which means “in particular”
    • A: The food in Japan seems more expensive, especially baked goods.
    • b : For a particular purpose. “This desk is built especially for studying” or as an intensifier such as “The meat is especially fresh on Fridays” or “It’s especially crowded here around the holidays.”
  • “Special”: As a noun it means something that is important or that is different. It could be a special TV series or a special on a menu.
    • Are there any specials on the menu today?
    • Yes for our specials we have a chicken soup and meatloaf.
  • “To specialize”: This is a verb and it means to focus on something. When you choose a career, you should keep in mind that if you specialize you will make more and be in higher demand than if you become a generalist.
    • She is a doctor but she specializes in rheumatology so she is a specialist.


Any questions about this vocabulary?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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