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If something is exact, it’s an accurate amount or it’s correct. The word "exact" is an adjective.

  • That painting is an exact replica of the original.
  • The exact number of days in December is 31.
  • What were the exact words used by the man who insulted you?
  • You don’t need an exact amount of money for the vending machine. It will give you change.
  • This is the exact location where the film was made.
  • That’s the exact answer I was looking for.
  • What’s the exact meaning of the word "reliable"?

The word "exactly" is a popular adverb which is used for amounts, but it’s also used as a kind of intensifier similar to words like "certainly" and "really."

  • This is exactly what I wanted.
  • Those two pieces of wood are exactly even.
  • The two soccer teams are exactly matched.
  • We’re thinking exactly the same thing.
  • Bob is exactly six feet tall.
  • It’s exactly 22 degrees fahrenheit right now.
  • Exactly. I agree.

It’s common to use the word "exactly" with the negative, "not."

  • She’s not exactly correct.
  • I’m not exactly sure where I left my keys.
  • This isn’t exactly what I wanted to do today.
  • Vanessa said she’s not exactly sure what she wants to do after she finishes college.
  • Bart is not exactly thrilled with his job. (This could be an example of an understatement. To say "not exactly thrilled" could mean Bart really hates his job.)

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Date of publication: December 7, 2016



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