1) This is the bus I [usually] [normally] take to my house.

2) Is this the bus you [usually] [normally] catch?

In the two sentences above, is there a significant difference in meaning between using ‘normally’ and using ‘usually’? In a conversation between native speakers, ‘normally’ seems to be preferred/more common option. Why is that the case?

  • 1
    As a matter of purely subjective opinion, 'usually' sounds very slightly more formal in register. You may also wish to consider 'typically', which would be clearly more formal and academic. Oct 5, 2017 at 6:20

1 Answer 1


There is a slight difference in meaning - the bus I usually take is the one I take most frequently, the bus I normally take is the one I take unless something out of the ordinary has resulted in a change of plans. Of course, these are likely to be the same bus and so the expressions are effectively interchangeable.

I would say that I more often use usually. FWIW I am a native speaker originally from the north east US.

  • Agreed. There is a slight difference in nuance, but since the usual practice is also the normal practice, the difference is often unimportant.
    – Andrew
    Oct 5, 2017 at 5:58

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