Actually vs Certainly - What's the difference?

actually | certainly |

As adverbs the difference between actually and certainly

is that actually is (modal) in act or in fact; really; in truth; positively while certainly is in a way which is certain; with certainty.




  • (modal) In act or in fact; really; in truth; positively.
  • Actually , I had nothing to do with that incident.
  • (obsolete) actively
  • Neither actually nor passively. — Fuller.

    Alternative forms

    * actially (nonstandard)

    Usage notes

    * In some other languages a word of similar spelling means "now" or "currently"; (e.g., Portuguese "atualmente", Spanish "actualmente", French "actuellement", German "aktuell", Italian "attualmente", Czech ""). This leads many non-native speakers of English to use "actually" when they mean "now" or "currently". * Some commentators have: *
  • remarked upon the irony that this qualifier of veracity often introduces an utter lie;, page 3 and,
  • *
  • noted that in many cases, (term) functions as little more than a vacuous emphatic utterance.ibidem , page 4
  • * In practice, actually and its synonyms are often used to insinuate that the following is either unusual or contrary to a norm or preceding assumption, or to merely preface an overconfident opinion contrasting a previous statement or norm (as per 'vacuous emphasis' note above). : This is actually a really beautiful song. (contrasting opinion) : Actually , I'm not from France - I'm from Switzerland. (contrary from assumption) : At the check-out, the cashier actually greeted me for once. (contrary from norm)


    * in reality * literally * really * truthfully




    (en adverb)
  • In a way which is certain; with certainty.
  • *, I.iii.2.2:
  • *:he verily thought he had young live frogs in his belly, qui vivebant ex alimento suo , that lived by his nourishment, and was so certainly persuaded of it, that for many years following he could not be rectified in his conceit.
  • Without doubt, surely.
  • :
  • :
  • :
  • *
  • *:So this was my future home, I thought! Certainly it made a brave picture. I had seen similar ones fired-in on many a Heidelberg stein. Backed by towering hills,a sky of palest Gobelin flecked with fat, fleecy little clouds, it in truth looked a dear little city; the city of one's dreams.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-07, author=(Gary Younge)
  • , volume=188, issue=26, page=18, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Hypocrisy lies at heart of Manning prosecution , passage=WikiLeaks did not cause these uprisings but it certainly informed them. The dispatches revealed details of corruption and kleptocracy that many Tunisians suspected, but could not prove, and would cite as they took to the streets.}}
  • An emphatic affirmative answer; of course.
  • :
  • Synonyms

    * absolutely, beyond doubt, indubitably, sure thing, undoubtedly, wis, without a doubt

    Coordinate terms

    * maybe, possibly, arguably, questionably, probably, perhaps

    Derived terms

    * most certainly


    * *