"Specially" Versus "Especially"

Do you know the difference?

Mignon Fogarty,
January 24, 2012

This was an especially fun tip to write; it was specially designed for your enjoyment.

Does that help you see the difference between "especially" and "specially"?

"Especially" usually means "particularly," whereas "specially" usually means "in a special or careful manner" or "specifically."  Here are some examples:

  • This market is especially tough on retirees.

  • Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, was Squiggly's weakness.

  • Aardvark delivered the specially minted commemorative coins.

  • The cake had been specially prepared for the occasion.

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