The words specially and especially often create confusion for language learners. After all, they have not only a similar meaning, but also a similar spelling and pronunciation. Let’s look at when to use one word and when to use another.

First of all, it is important to note that both words are adverbs.


The word especially means in particular, more than usual, most of all. We normally use use especially when we want to say that one thing is more suitable than another for a specific purpose. In other words, we choose one of several people, places, events, and situations, emphasizing their importance.
For example:

  • Judith likes chocolate, especially the dark one.
  • I like tea, especially green tea.
  • He’s usually tired in the evening, but he was especially tired this evening.
  • I love all nuts, especially cashew nuts.


The word specially means for specific purpose, person or event. Therefore, we normally use it when we want to say that something is made for a specific purpose or person, for a special occasion.

For example:

  • They designed this jacket specially for girls.
  • They ordered boots specially for Jacob.
  • The pigs are specially trained to locate the truffles.
  • The tailor sewed this dress specially for Jane’s wedding.
Especially and Specially

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