Sometimes, we come across words and phrases in English that people debate whether or not they’re necessary. “More specifically” is an example of a phrase that some people think is redundant. In this article, we’ll look at how to use it in a sentence and when it might be needed.
What Does “More Specifically” Mean?
“More specifically” is used as a comparative phrase when you want to say that one answer is more specific than the previous answer you gave. For example, “I come from the UK, more specifically the southeast region.” “More specifically” is seen as a somewhat redundant phrase.
According to The Cambridge Dictionary, “specifically” means “for a particular reason, purpose.” When we include “more” beforehand, it means that we’re talking about something that is even more suitable for the purpose.
Many people believe that you can simply remove the words entirely from a sentence and still have them make sense grammatically.
- I come from Europe. More specifically, I live in Germany.
- I come from Europe and live in Germany.
Both of these phrases are correct; it just depends on whether you want to use the phrase “more specifically” or not.
Is “More Specifically” Grammatically Correct?
So, we’ve talked about the need to use “more specifically” (or not, in many cases). Now, let’s go over whether it’s grammatically correct in the first place.
“More specifically” is a grammatically correct phrase. It uses the word “more” to compare it to a previously made statement, and “specifically” is an adverb used to talk about what is “more.”
While the phrase itself is grammatically correct, there are plenty of people who avoid using it. It’s more common to find it in spoken English, where the rules for redundant words are less impactful. In written English, people prefer to get to the point much quicker.
For this reason, you’ll often see the same sort of sentences appear when people could use “more specifically” instead.
- I need a drink, more specifically your finest wine!
- I need a drink, and I’ll take your finest wine!
- I need your finest wine!
- I need a drink, and I’ll take your finest wine, to be specific!
All of these examples show you what you might be able to use instead of “more specifically.” There are plenty of other choices which we’ll include later in the article. Most people prefer to streamline their written English words to make it easier for reader comprehension.
It’s one of the most important things in English to remove and omit words we no longer see as necessary. Even if you want to use the word “specifically,” you can usually use it on its own. The “more” is seen as the most redundant word of the two.
- I need a drink. Specifically, your finest wine!
As you can see, we don’t always need to include the “more” part to include it as a comparative phrase. Most people understand that when you’re specifying in this way, you mean it’s more specific than what you previously said.
How To Use “More Specifically” In A Sentence
Okay, we’ve gone over most of the rules associated with it and seen that “more specifically” isn’t the most popular choice for a phrase in English. Still, it has its uses, so it’s good to go through some examples of it in practice.
We mostly use “more specifically” in spoken English when there’s less pressure to follow the rules required in writing.
- I should pop to the store for some groceries. More specifically, we need something for breakfast tomorrow.
- I could really do with a drink, more specifically a soft one if you’ve got one!
- I love sports! More specifically, I love to watch them. I don’t often take part.
- She loves the movies! More specifically, she’s a sucker for romantic comedies.
- We need to visit Europe! More specifically, I want to see the locations where Game of Thrones was filmed.
- Let’s go out for dinner, more specifically to a restaurant we both love!
- They should focus on their math studies. More specifically, make sure they understand trigonometry.
- He asked us to turn off the music. More specifically, he actually asked us to shut up and end the party before he called the cops.
- You should look into buying a house. More specifically, you should find out your financial options related to it.
- I need to get a job, more specifically, a job that I know I’ll enjoy for years to come.
- Is there anything I can help you with? More specifically, anything that is listed on the service sheet already?
- I think I need to take a break. More specifically, a vacation to a hot country would be ideal.
As you can see, we use “more specifically” to put forward a new idea that’s more specific than the previous one. It’s related to the same scenario, but we’re more to the point about what we want.
Generally, there are two ways you can use the phrase “more specifically.” The first is to use it directly after a comma when you didn’t want to end the clause from before.
The second is to start a new sentence with it. In these cases, you always need to include a comma after it to break up the sentence flow.
What Is Another Way To Say “More Specifically”?
Finally, let’s go over some better ways of saying “more specifically.” This way, you can still use the same comparative meaning without having to worry about people thinking you’re using redundant words.
- To be specific
This is a great clause you can put at the end of the sentence that you’ve made more specific than the one before.
- To be exact
We can also use “exact” in place of “specific” to convey a similar meaning to what we said above.
If you want to be as specific as possible, then “precisely” is a great way to convey that information.
Just like “precisely,” “explicitly” is more closely related to saying “most specifically,” where we’re talking about an idea that can’t be any more specific than it already is.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.