Phrases and words that look and sound similar can be confusing. Which one are you supposed to use and when? ‘In particular’ and ‘particularly’ are great examples of words and phrases being confused. These two are commonly mixed up, and in some cases, people even say ‘in particularly’, which is not correct.
What exactly is the difference between ‘in particular’ and ‘particularly’? Can they be used in place of each other? Let’s take a look at the two to figure it out.
‘In particular’ means especially, individually, separately, in detail. This phrase is used when referring to one specific thing or person.
‘In particular’ is an expression that refers to the distinction of one thing from others. It is similar in use to the word specifically. The word refers to nouns and will usually occur at the beginning of the sentence.
While the phrase will usually be at the beginning of the sentence, it can also appear in the middle or at the end. When the phrase is at the beginning of the sentence, it needs to be separated with a comma.
I really like the pink shirt in particular.
In particular, prices are usually fixed by industry.
“That’s very odd,” he said to no one in particular.
I don’t want to go anywhere in particular.
In particular, I admire your determination.
Particularly means to a higher degree than what is normal or usual. It can also mean to give specific emphasis to a point.
Particularly refers to in detail or to a specific degree. The word is an adverb, so it can be used to modify verbs and adjectives, but not nouns. It works best when placed before the word it is modifying.
I particularly like the pink shirt. (I like the pink shirt more than other shirts).
We particularly want to see the beach. (We want to see the beach more than other places).
It was particularly quiet this morning. (It was quieter than normal).
Some examples of modifying words:
The ceiling is particularly low.
It is particularly hot here in the summer.
She runs particularly fast.
I’m not particularly concerned about it.
The story does not have to be particularly long.
Particularly and in particular with the same meaning
Particularly can sometimes be used as an adverb instead of using in particular when referring to something individually. In this case, the words mean the same thing. This can be confusing, so take a look at these examples.
The weather was great this week, particularly on Tuesday.
The weather was great this week, on Tuesday in particular.
Both of these statements refer to how great the weather was during the week, emphasizing how great it was on Tuesday.
However, if you were to use the words in the main clause, the meanings would change. Take a look at these examples compared to the previous ones.
The weather was particularly great this week. (Meaning the weather was better than normal).
In particular, the weather was great this week. (The weather was one thing that was bad specifically, along with other things).
Things to Keep in Mind
‘In particular’ can’t be used in place of ‘particularly’ when modifying a verb, adjective, or adverb. For example: ‘I don’t particularly want to think about that time’ cannot become ‘I don’t in particular want to think about that time’.
However, ‘particularly’ can be used as a replacement as an adverb instead of using ‘in particular’ when there is something being referred to individually. An example of this is the weather sentence in the previous section.
Is in particularly a word?
No, “in particularly” is incorrect and you need to use “particularly” or “in particular” as explained above.