False Friends: Actually/Actual
- These are probably among the most misused false friends, undoubtedly due to their incredible similarity with their Spanish counterparts. However, they have no relation at all!
- Actually and Actual are used to present factual information, usually after another person has said something wrong. It’s a great way to politely correct someone. It’s similar in meaning to “real(ly).
Aunt: So you’re going to go to Columbia University?
Niece: Actually, no, I’m going to Northwestern.
Witness in Court: I wasn’t there! I couldn’t have done it!
Lawyer: In actual fact, you were there! The security cameras caught you!
- It can also be used to express the speaker’s surprise at what the speaker is about to say.
I don’t like this Adele song. Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t like any of her songs! Love her voice, though!
- The Spanish words Actualmente and Actual can be translated as Currently or Current in English. The noun actualidad is translated as Current Events.
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