What's the difference between "really" and "very"?

Really / Very + adjectives

Ex: The whipped cream on the pancakes was really tall.
Ex: Unfortunately, the restaurant was very expensive.

Really / Very + adverbs
Ex: You sing really well.
Ex: I think you sing very beautifully too.

Really + verbs 
Ex: I really wanted to go to that party. 
Ex: We really enjoyed the movie. 

NOT: I very wanted to go to that party. 
NOT: We very enjoyed the movie. 

(The easy thing to remember: don’t use “very” with verbs.)

Take care when using “much”.
“Really” sometimes means that something is “true”. 
O This coffee is really much better than that coffee. = truly / actually
O This coffee is very much better than that coffee. = a large amount

O I like these pancakes 
very much. = amount
X I like these pancakes 
really much. X

Other uses
Really = surprise / assurance 
A: I passed the test! 
B: Really?! 
A: Really! I did it! I’m so happy. 

Very + noun = actual / exact  
Ex: That was the very day I joined the circus. 
Ex: There is a big surprise at the very end of the movie.             


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