student asking question

In casual conversations, I often saw people saying the word "actually" at the end. Then, what's the main function of the word "actually"?


Native speaker’s answer


The function of "actually" at the end of a sentence, is to indicate something unexpected. It also has a similar feeling to "as a matter of fact". Overall, the word "actually" has two main functions. The first is to express the truth or facts of a situation. The other is to indicate that what someone has done or said is surprising. Depending on the context, it could mean both of these things. "Actually" also creates emphasis on what is said. Ex: ... and then they actually laughed at me! It was humiliating. => surprised by the action Ex: I actually prefer chocolate ice cream rather than vanilla ice cream. => a surprising fact Ex: Are we actually leaving in ten days? => determining a fact

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