1. We were both looking in the same book but each at exactly the same page.
  2. We were both looking in the same book but each at the exact same page.

Is there any difference (whatever difference) between the former and the latter sentence?

  • 1
    A semantic difference? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 23 '18 at 13:32
  • I'm having a real hard time trying to pinpoint the difference... One thing that is obvious is that one is an adverb and the other is an adjective. – Michael Rybkin Jan 23 '18 at 13:54
  • In the first statement "Exactly", an adverb, is showing the speciality of the action "looking at". In the second statement, "Exact" is functioning as an adjective, showing the importance of "the same page". Here, it is bolstering the fact that the two books are on the same page. Thus, the two sentences have the same meaning; the only difference is that the stress is at two different facts in the two sentences. – abhijeet pathak Jan 23 '18 at 13:54
  • I thought so too, at first, however, this seems to be an incorrect point of view. I guess that this is because eventually both "exactly" and "exact" speak of the "same page". – SovereignSun Jan 23 '18 at 14:00
  • 1
    We were both looking at exactly the same page from the same book. We were both looking at the exact same page from the same book. Exact same is being used as an adverb to mean very, though technically it isn't, an adverb to qualify the adjective same. – Lambie Jan 23 '18 at 14:03

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