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Common mistake - almost or nearly

We use almost and nearly to refer to the progress of things, especially if we are measuring and counting things. In these examples, almost and nearly can both be used:

[someone has been running five miles on a running machine in a gym]

Don’t give up! You’re almost there.

It’s time for bed. It’s nearly 10 o’clock.

Their CD has sold almost 90,000 copies in the last week.

Nearly all my friends were in the photograph.

We also use almost and nearly with extreme adjectives such as perfect, impossible or frozen:

That guy is almost impossible.

The chicken is still nearly frozen. I thought you’d taken it out of the freezer.

We use almost (but not nearly) to soften statements:

I almost wish I hadn’t offered to pay his fine.

We use almost before any and before negative words such as no, none, never, nobody, nothing. We don’t use nearly in this way: (Hard)

[describing computer software which traces the history of towns]

Using this special software, you can find the history of almost any building.

They’ve almost no confidence that they can use the new phone properly.

She almost never raises her voice.

Not: She nearly never raises her voice.

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