“Almost” vs. “Not Nearly”: What’s the Difference?

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The difference between “almost” and “not nearly”

  • Almost connotes a sense of having progressed significantly towards a goal, whereas not nearly suggests a significant lack of progress.
  • Almost is often used in a positive context, while not nearly has a mostly negative connotation.
  • Almost implies a sense of hopefulness, while not nearly suggests little to no hope for achieving the desired outcome.
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What is the definition of “almost” and “not nearly”?

  • Almost means very close to happening or being finished.
  • It suggests that something is in the later stages of development or progress.
  • Almost can also indicate something is virtually, but not quite, complete.
Not nearly
  • Not nearly means far from or distant from achieving something.
  • It conveys the idea of falling very short of the expected or desired outcome.
  • Not nearly emphasizes the failure or lack of progress towards a goal.

Which is the more popular variant on the Internet?

“Almost” is the more popular variant on the web.
More popular
4,110,000,000 results on the web
  1. I almost missed my flight this morning.
  2. The cake is almost finished, just needs one more piece taken off.
  3. The concert tickets were almost sold out, luckily I was still able to purchase one.
Not nearly
25,700,000 results on the web
  1. That essay is not nearly long enough, you should add more details.
  2. She's not nearly as tall as I thought she would be.
  3. The food was not nearly as spicy as we anticipated.
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