1>Mahatma Gandhi was really a great man

1>Mahatma Gandhi was truly a great man

If somebody says I have got job . we say really? but not truly?

we say the question paper is reallydifficult but not truly difficult.

Is Mahatma Gandhi really the Father of the nation?

Is Mahatma Gandhi truly the Father of the nation?

we usually say the first sentence. I think it is more a matter of usage and intuition.

But I feel they are almost the same but not exactly the same.

I think there is a difference between truly and really.

I have searched on the internet to find the difference and I attach the link which explains the difference.But I am not satisfied with the answers.


What exactly is the difference between truly and really and how they can be used in speech and writing?


The top voted reply on HiNative is spot on:

  1. Really is used much more often.
  2. Truly is higher register.
  3. Truly has more emphasis.

I have two more to add to this:

  1. Truly sounds more heartfelt:
    • Truly you’re a great friend.
  2. Truly can sound pretentious if you’re speaking casually. Really doesn’t have this problem:
    • This is fine: This music really is loud!
    • This is pretentious: This music truly is loud!

Some of this is especially obvious if you look at things statistically. I used COCA to find what adjectives follow either word (up to four words ahead):

results of said collocation search

The adjectives that follow really are simple, more colloquial words like cute, hard, and nice. The adjectives that follow truly look academic: global, integrated, and multicultural.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.