“In Particular” vs. “Particularly” – Complete Usage Guide

We can use “particularly” and “in particular” in very similar ways. Though they are not synonymous, it would help to learn all the language rules that work with them. This article will explain all you need to know.

What Is The Difference Between “In Particular” And “Particularly”?

“In particular” is an idiomatic expression, which we can use synonymously with phrases like “specifically.” It separates one specific thing from a longer group. “Particularly” is an adverbial expression used to modify a verb or adjective (depending on the sentence structure).

In Particular vs. Particularly

While they’re not always interchangeable, there are some instances where this might be the case. However, we’ll touch more on that as the article develops.

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When Should I Use “In Particular”?

Let’s focus on what the two phrases mean first of all. It might help to see them in action as well.

“In particular” allows us to show that a particular thing happened. We can also describe one thing in a certain way which might have led it to stand out from the other things (or if it broke the normal trend, we could use “in particular” to show this).

It’s a great way for us to single something out. It works both positively and negatively, so you can use it with a lot of versatility.

Perhaps these examples will shed some light on how it works:

  1. In particular, someone made it much harder for me to have fun this week.
  2. It was going to be a difficult one for Daniel in particular, but nobody wanted to help him out.
  3. I’m sure it wasn’t meant for anybody in particular, even if it came across that way.
  4. I’m directing this at you in particular because I think you need to understand where I’m coming from.
  5. Someone, in particular, is causing the ruckus, and I want you to find out who it is and stop them.
  6. Let’s not discuss anybody in particular because I think that could be unfair to a lot of the other candidates around here.
  7. The weather, in particular, was bad today, and I wish I could have ignored that fact!

When Should I Use “Particularly”?

“Particularly” works similarly, but not quite in the same way. It’s an adverb, and we need to know what that means.

“Particularly” means that someone or something can be described in a particular way. However, it does not single that thing or person out more specifically than anything else.

Since it’s an adverb, we can use it to modify an adjective or verb, depending on the sentence we’re using and what we want to convey with it.

These examples will help you understand what we mean:

  1. I was not sure about Simon, particularly because he said those strange things to me the other day.
  2. The weather has been atrocious, particularly on Sunday when it started to storm outside.
  3. I think you should thank me, particularly because I made it so much easier for you to figure this out.
  4. It was particularly difficult for me to find a way to talk to him, but I made it work.
  5. You’ll find that someone wants you gone, particularly because you’re always saying things that others disagree with.
  6. I’m not particularly sure what you want from me. Oh well, at least I’ve tried to help you.
  7. This is not particularly what I had planned for the day. I’m not the most thrilled about it either.

You might notice that “particularly” never shows up at the beginning of a sentence. That’s because it doesn’t work well in this form (unlike “in particular,” which can start a new clause every time it’s used).

Is It Correct To Use “In Particularly”?

“In particularly” is incorrect. We cannot use it because “in particular” is an idiomatic expression, while “particularly” is an adverb. There is no reason to include the preposition “in” with the adverbial phrase “particularly.”

Are “In Particular” And “Particularly” Interchangeable?

It’s common for some people to use them interchangeably, but there are only specific cases where this works.

We typically do not use “in particular” and “particularly” interchangeably. They do not always have overlapping meanings. However, we can use them in this way when we want to single someone or something out.

For example, we could switch them around like so:

  • I did not like John particularly.
  • I did not like John in particular.

If the phrases come after the thing we are singling out, then they can work synonymously.

How Should I Punctuate “In Particular”?

“In particular” typically starts a relative clause. That means that it is not included as part of a secondary clause, and it does not need to be punctuated. It can be included as a parenthetical expression, meaning it’s surrounded by commas.

Here are the two ways we can punctuate it:

  • I didn’t like what he did in particular.
  • Simon, in particular, was not best pleased.

How Should I Punctuate “Particularly”?

“Particularly” is an adverb, which means it usually modifies verbs and adjectives. To modify them correctly, we typically do not include commas anywhere around it. However, we can write “particularly” at the start of a new clause, meaning a comma comes before it.

These two examples will demonstrate the different uses:

  • I was particularly hurt by what you said the other day.
  • I am afraid not, particularly now that you’ve done this!

Can I Start A Sentence With “In Particular”?

You typically cannot start a sentence with “In particular.” It would be much more suitable to include it as a second clause. With that said, there isn’t anything grammatically wrong with it.

The following are interchangeable:

  • The weather was bad this week in particular.
  • In particular, the weather was bad this week.

Can I Start A Sentence With “Particularly”?

“Particularly” can never start a sentence. The closest it can come to starting a sentence is when it’s used as an adverbial phrase to start a new clause. However, it will not make sense at the start of a sentence because there’s nothing to compare it to.

Here’s what we mean:

  • Correct: I was not aware of this, particularly because nobody told me.
  • Incorrect: Particularly because nobody told me, I was not aware of this.

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