‘Nothing particular’ and ‘nothing in particular’ are two terms that you may see used quite a lot. But, what do they mean? Do they mean different things? We will explain everything that you need to know on this page.
What Is The Difference Between ‘Nothing Particular’ and ‘Nothing in Particular’?
Generally speaking, there is no difference between ‘nothing particular’ and ‘nothing in particular’. The two terms can easily be used interchangeably. ‘Nothing particular’ is used less frequently, and because of this, many people believe it to be grammatically incorrect. It isn’t.
Both of these phrases have been around since the 1600s. Originally, ‘nothing particular’ seemed to get a lot more use. However, by the 1700s, people started to add the ‘in’ to the phrase a lot more frequently, and it has remained that way ever since. It is likely that people started to add ‘in’ as it made the phrase seem a lot more formal.
Nowadays, the two terms can be used interchangeably. Both of them are grammatically-correct terms. However, ‘nothing particular’ does seem to be a very regional term, although it has started to creep into ‘internet speak’ simply because it is quicker to type out.
Where possible, we encourage you to use ‘nothing in particular’, just because it is the more widespread term. However, if you really do want to say ‘nothing particular’, then you can say it in all of the same situations. It just may sound ‘wrong’ to some people.
What Does ‘Nothing Particular’ Mean?
‘Nothing particular’ is used when there is nothing specific that needs mentioning or drawing attention to. In some cases, it may mean that a person doesn’t want to discuss something. A lot of people use this term to shut down conversations when they do not want to speak about something.
Essentially, it is the opposite of saying ‘particular’. When you say ‘particular’ or ‘particularly’, you are drawing attention to and highlighting something very specific. With ‘nothing particular’ you are saying you don’t want to highlight anything.
Here are some examples of how to use ‘nothing particular’ in a sentence:
- There was nothing particular about him.
- There is nothing particular that I want to talk about.
- I am thinking about nothing particular. I am just thinking.
- There is nothing particular that I am having trouble with.
- There is nothing particular wrong with me. I just feel low.
What Does ‘Nothing In Particular’ Mean?
When somebody says ‘nothing in particular, it means that there is nothing special that they really want to draw attention to. For example, if somebody says, “nothing in particular was special,” it means nothing really stood out.
If you know how to use ‘particular’, then ‘nothing in particular’ is the opposite of that. With ‘particular’, you are mentioning something very specific. With ‘nothing in particular’, you are saying that there is nothing that you really want to talk about. Either because everything is roughly equal in your eyes, or it simply isn’t worth mentioning.
Here are some examples of how to use ‘nothing in particular’ in a sentence. If you wish, you could drop the ‘in’ in these examples, and they would still be grammatically correct, although the sentence would be much less formal:
- There is nothing in particular that is bothering me. I am just upset.
- There was nothing in particular that stood out about how he looked.
- I have nothing in particular to say to you.
- “What do you want for dinner?” “Nothing in particular”
- I am thinking of nothing in particular.
Are ‘Nothing Particular’ and ‘Nothing In Particular’ Interchangeable?
Both ‘nothing particular’ and ‘nothing in particular’ can be used interchangeably. Usage will often be based upon dialect and method of communication. You are more likely to find ‘nothing particular’ used in online discussions, mostly due to the shorter word count.
In terms of formality, the use of ‘nothing in particular’ will be seen as much more formal usage. Although, most people probably wouldn’t notice that you dropped the ‘in’ during a conversation. Although, if you are writing a formal letter, you would be encouraged to use ‘nothing in particular’.
Is ‘Nothing Particular’ or ‘Nothing In Particular’ Used The Most`?
‘Nothing in particular’ is used significantly more often than ‘nothing particular.’ It is used 2-3x as much. Because of this, many people seem to believe ‘nothing particular’ is grammatically incorrect. It isn’t.
According to Google Ngram Viewer, ‘nothing in particular’ has always been used more often than ‘nothing particular’. However, up until the mid-1990s, it was only a little higher. By the mid-1990s rolled around, ‘nothing in particular’ started to be used significantly more often. In fact, usage almost tripled. The use of ‘nothing particular’ barely changed.
Since the mid-2010s, ‘nothing particular’ has gone through somewhat of a resurgence, although it is unknown why this is happening. The chances are that the internet has influenced this. After all, people like to use fewer words online. People then started to ditch the ‘in’, and this became a more common saying in books (which is what Google Ngram Viewer tracks)
‘Nothing Specific’ vs. ‘Nothing Particular’
Both ‘nothing specific’ and ‘nothing particular’ can be used interchangeably. They are synonyms. This means that in any situation where you would say ‘nothing particular,’ you will also be able to say ‘nothing specific’, which is a great way to spice up how you talk.
You will not be able to add an ‘in’ before ‘specific’, unlike’ nothing particular,’ which can become ‘nothing in particular.’. This is the only major difference between the two of them.
You may find that people tend to use ‘nothing specific’ in less-formal language.
Here is an example to show you how the two terms can be used in the same type of sentence and be correct:
- Nothing specific about him stood out.
- Nothing particular about him stood out.
‘Nothing Particular’ And ‘Nothing in Particular’ – Synonyms
To help you better understand what these terms mean, we want to wrap up by giving you some synonyms:
- Nothing unusual
- Nothing worth noting
- Nothing special
- Nothing worth mentioning
- Nothing significant
- Nothing stood out