Actual means ‘real’; actually means ‘really’ or ‘in fact’. They are used to make things clearer, more precise or more definite.

It’s over 100 kilos. Let me look. Yes, the actual weight is 108 kilos.
I’ve got a new job. Actually, they’ve made me a sales manager.
Did you enjoy your holiday? ~ Very much, actually.

Actual and actually often introduce surprising or unexpected information.
It takes me an hour to drive to work, although the actual distance is only
20 miles.  She was
so angry that she actually tore up the letter.
How did you get on with
my car?~ Well, actually, I’m terribly sorry, I’m
afraid I had a crash.
He’s twelve, but he actually still believes in Father Christmas.

They can be used to correct mistakes or misunderstandings.
The book says she died aged 47, but her actual age was 43.
Hello, John. Nice to see you. <Actually,
my name’s Andy.

Actually is more common in British than American English.

Actual and actually are ‘false friends’ for people who speak some languages.
They do not mean the same as, for example,
actuel(lement), aktuell, or attual(ment)e. We express these ideas with present, current, up to date; at this moment, now, at present. 

What’s our current financial position?
(NOT … our actual financial position?)
In 1900 the population of London was higher than it is now.
(NOT … them it actually is.)


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