You can use “pay special attention” in many situations. You might want to learn what those situations are before trying it, though. This article will help you to understand when it works best, so you don’t have to worry about getting it wrong going forward.
What Does “Pay Special Attention” Mean?
“Pay special attention” means that you should focus or take note of a specific piece of information. It’s used when someone wants to draw your attention to something. Typically, whatever comes after “pay special attention” should be noted down or remembered.
You might see it written like this:
- Pay special attention to the new rules.
Here, “the new rules” are very important in the context. This makes you aware that they have to be obeyed or remembered. Without “pay special attention,” you might decide to overlook the rules or the changes, which could lead to some issues.
It works best formally because it helps to remind people that certain things might have changed. You’ll often find people using it in business meetings or emails to remind people that certain things should be remembered.
You can also use it yourself when you want someone else to take note of a specific thing. It acts as a reminder for them. So, if they end up forgetting, you can remind them that you told them to “pay special attention.”
How to Use “Pay Special Attention” In a Sentence
It might help to go over a few examples to see how to use “pay special attention” in a sentence:
- I’m going to need you to pay special attention to these matters. I don’t want anything getting past us on this one.
- I thought you would be able to pay special attention to all of this stuff. I knew I could count on you to get it done.
- I’m not going to pay special attention to anything that he says to me today. That’s what happens when you lose my respect.
- Can you all pay special attention to the things I’m about to tell you, please? I need you to make sure you’ve understood this.
- Pay special attention, and you will be rewarded for your attentiveness. I need you to be on the same page as each other going forward.
- I would love it if you could all pay special attention to the new rules. They’re going to have a profound impact on the way we operate here.
- She told me to pay special attention to the bulletin. I really didn’t fancy doing that. I doubt it’ll come back to bite me!
“Pay special attention” allows you to remind someone (or a group of people) that something is important. You can use it when you want them to pay attention to something and make sure they remember whatever it is you’re talking about.
Pay Special Attention or Pay Especial Attention?
“Pay special attention” is the correct way of writing this. “Pay especial attention” is incorrect because “especial” is an archaic form that is almost never used in modern English. “Especial” is more suited as an adverb like “especially.” “Special” works in all other situations.
According to Google Ngram Viewer, “pay special attention” is by far the most popular choice. This makes it clear that it’s the choice that is a better fit for today’s world and modern English usage.
Interestingly, “pay especial attention” and “pay special attention” were much closer in popularity two centuries ago. Clearly, there was a time when “especial” and “special” were synonymous, but that is not the case anymore.
We don’t recommend using the “especial” variation. It’s not common, and most native speakers will think you sound a bit strange for trying it.
“Pay Special Attention” – Synonyms
If you want to find a few synonyms that might work better, you can refer to one of these:
You should use “pay special attention” when you want people to focus on a specific piece of information. It usually helps them to remember whatever you’re referring to a little bit easier because you’ve drawn “special” attention to that thing. “Pay especial attention” should not be used.