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      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
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      • China
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      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #1

    almost didn't, nearly didn't

    There had been so many wrong numbers that morning that I nearly didn't bother to answer the phone when Carl called.

    This sentence comes from Martin Hewings' ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE (2004 edition, CD-ROM).

    I wonder if we could replace 'nearly didn't' with 'almost didn't' in this sentence.
    I was hoping native English teachers could help me with this question. Thank you very much.

  1. #2

    Re: almost didn't, nearly didn't

    In this context they mean exactly the same.
    If there is a difference, "almost" might be about 1% more formal.

    I nearly fell down.
    I almost fell down.

    I was awake nearly all night.
    I was awake almost all night.

    He is nearly 80 years old.
    He is almost 80 years old.

    I'm nearly finished this posting.
    I'm almost finished this posting.

    good luck
    edward

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    There had been so many wrong numbers that morning that I nearly didn't bother to answer the phone when Carl called.

    This sentence comes from Martin Hewings' ADVANCED GRAMMAR IN USE (2004 edition, CD-ROM).

    I wonder if we could replace 'nearly didn't' with 'almost didn't' in this sentence.
    I was hoping native English teachers could help me with this question. Thank you very much.

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