Hello English learners!
This post is going to be all about the difference between really vs. very.
At first glance, these two words seem like that they are the same thing and can be used interchangeably (meaning you could use either for every sentence).
While they both have similar definitions, the rules they follow on when to use them are quite different.
Let’s take a closer look to see exactly what I mean.
The word really can be used as an adverb or an interjection.
Remember that an adverb describes or modifies a verb or an adjective or even another adverb and usually ends in –ly.
- He drives slowly.
The word slowly is the adverb in this sentence because it describes the verb (how he drives).
The definition of really is actually, truly or indeed.
Here are some sentences where you can see the word really in action.
- He really knows English well.
- After she broke up with her boyfriend, she was able to really see how he was wrong for her.
- Really, this is too much work.
Now, I want to turn our attention to the word very.
Very can be used as both an adverb or as an adjective.
The word very means in a large manner or extremely.
Here are some examples of sentences with the word very.
- The cheetah is very fast.
- That test was very difficult.
- She runs very well.
When you use very as an adjective it means with precision.
- (On the phone) Tom! You were the very person I was trying to get a hold of.
- I was thinking of that very same thing!
When using very as an adverb we are able to use the word really and the sentence does not change in meaning.
Here are some examples of sentences with the word very changed with the word really.
- The cheetah is really fast.
- That test was really difficult.
- She runs really well.
In these sentences you can use either very or really because it is used before an adjective!
When does it NOT work?
We cannot say:
- He very likes Nutella.
Very can only be used with adjectives and adverbs.
Really can be used right before adjectives, adverbs and VERBS.
- He really enjoys travelling.
- They really work well together.
- He really likes Nutella.
The word like is a verb and very will not work here.
Another situation where one word will work and another one won’t is the use before much.
- I liked this movie very much.
The word really won’t work here.
In fact, you can NEVER use really before much.
When using an interjection (to indicate surprise) you can ONLY use really.
A: I just won a million dollars!
Person B (and most people) would be surprised.
That is it for the difference between really and very.
Be sure to leave a comment below with your own sentences!
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