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Home > Language > Words > Usually and Normally Compared

Difference Between Usually and Normally

Usually vs Normally

Normally and usually are words having very similar meanings and used interchangeably in all situations, though, it is not correct. These are adverbs of frequency that indicate frequency of an event, and can be used interchangeably in some instances such as what happens normally is usual and expected and what is usual is what is normal too. However, in some instances, only one of the two can be used. This article will attempt to describe the correct usage of these adverbs.

Let us begin by what is normal and thus expected by the societal norms. We all know that walking around naked is not normal. Therefore, better use the adverb normally when you want to say that people normally do not walk around naked. Using ‘usually’ may not be technically wrong in this case, but does not look nice when we say that people usually do not walk around naked. The sheer emphasis on conformity makes it imperative to use the word ‘normally’, as we treat anyone moving naked as abnormal.

Here, is another example. If you say that you normally tend to suffer from migraine during winters more than during summers, you are implying that it is normal for you to have headaches during winters. This is incorrect, since having headache is not normal. Therefore, it would be better to use the adverb ‘usually’, and say, “I usually tend to have headaches during winter”.

If we are describing the habit of a person, the word ‘usually’ is used. He usually comes late in class meetings. If you say “he normally comes late to class meetings”, it would suggest that what he is doing is normal and, therefore, to be expected. On the other hand, if we are sure of the climate of a place, we say that normally the temperatures at a particular place are sub zero during this time of the year. This is one instance where it is correct to use the words interchangeably.

Human beings have a normal range of blood pressure, but when a person has to describe his pressure condition, he would have to make use of usually to indicate his medical condition such as ‘Usually, my blood pressure is so and so, or high or low’. When you are in a restaurant or a pub and when waiter asks for your order, you can say it in a single word as usual. The waiter would understand that you want the same drink that you usually have in the restaurant.


What is the difference between Usually and Normally?

• Usually and normally are adverbs of frequency such as often and always, and they describe the frequency of occurrence of an event.

• Both are synonyms and are used interchangeably by people though there is a difference in the usage of these words

• Where there is something standard or normal, it is normally that is used, whereas usually is used to describe a particular person’s habits.



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