# Almost vs. Practically — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on May 17, 2024

**Almost indicates something is nearly completed or achieved, whereas practically suggests something is effectively true or close enough to be considered true despite not being exact.**

## Difference Between Almost and Practically

### Table of Contents

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## Key Differences

Almost is used to describe something that is nearly but not quite finished or achieved. For example, saying "I almost finished the book" means you came very close to finishing but didn’t complete it. Practically, on the other hand, is often used to convey that something is nearly the case to the extent that the difference is negligible. For instance, "It's practically done" implies that for all intents and purposes, it can be considered done.

Almost is more about approaching a specific goal or state, emphasizing the small gap remaining. Practically often carries a connotation of functional completeness despite minor missing details.

Almost conveys a sense of near completion with a clear sense of what remains undone. Practically, while also indicating near completion, emphasizes the functional or pragmatic aspect, downplaying the importance of what remains.

## Comparison Chart

### Meaning

Nearly but not completely

Nearly to the point of being effectively true

### Usage

Emphasizes the remaining gap

Emphasizes sufficiency despite minor gaps

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### Context

Can be precise about the shortfall

Focuses on practical completeness

### Examples

Almost finished, almost there

Practically done, practically free

### Connotation

Slightly less than

Close enough to be considered as

## Compare with Definitions

#### Almost

Approaching a certain condition or state.

The soup is almost ready.

#### Practically

Almost or nearly as described.

The car is practically new.

#### Almost

Nearly but not entirely.

She almost won the race.

#### Practically

To a large extent; almost completely.

She practically lives at the office.

#### Almost

Very close to happening or being true.

He almost guessed the answer correctly.

#### Practically

In a useful or sensible way.

The design is practically efficient.

#### Almost

Not quite but close in degree or number.

It’s almost midnight.

#### Practically

Essentially, though not officially or exactly.

It’s practically impossible to get tickets.

#### Almost

Just short of a particular amount or degree.

I almost ate the whole pizza.

#### Practically

For all practical purposes; virtually.

The rules are practically nonexistent.

#### Almost

In set theory, when dealing with sets of infinite size, the term almost or nearly is used to refer to all but a negligible amount of elements in the set. The notion of "negligible" depends in the context, and may mean "of measure zero" (in a measure space), "countable" (when uncountably infinite sets are involved), or "finite" (when infinite sets are involved).For example: The set S = { n ∈ N | n ≥ k } {\displaystyle S=\{n\in \mathbb {N} \,|\,n\geq k\}} is almost N {\displaystyle \mathbb {N} } for any k {\displaystyle k} in N {\displaystyle \mathbb {N} } , because only finitely many natural numbers are less than k {\displaystyle k} .

#### Practically

Virtually; almost

The strike lasted practically a fortnight

The place was practically empty

#### Almost

Not quite; very nearly

He almost knocked Georgina over

The place was almost empty

Blues, jazz—he can play almost anything

#### Practically

In a practical manner

‘He might win,’ pointed out Emmeline practically

#### Almost

Slightly short of; not quite; nearly

Almost time to go.

Was almost asleep.

Had almost finished. See Usage Note at none.

#### Practically

All but; nearly; almost

He had practically finished his meal when I arrived.

#### Almost

Very close to, but not quite.

#### Practically

In a way that is practical

We planned the room practically for use as a study as well as a den.

#### Almost

(mathematics) Up to, except for a negligible set where negligible is not universally but contextually defined.

Almost all

Almost no

#### Practically

In practice; in effect or actuality, though possibly not officially.

#### Almost

A null set; except for a set of measure 0.

Almost everywhere

Almost nowhere

Almost certain

Almost sure

#### Practically

Almost completely; almost entirely

He was practically uneducated, barely able to read and write a simple sentence.

#### Almost

(informal) Something or someone that doesn't quite make it.

In all the submissions, they found four papers that were clearly worth publishing and another dozen almosts.

#### Practically

With respect to practices or a practice.

He wasn't very good with words or numbers; he was more of a practically minded person

He was practically educated and lacked theoretical depth.

#### Almost

Nearly; well nigh; all but; for the greatest part.

Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

#### Practically

In a practical way; not theoretically; really; as, to look at things practically; practically worthless.

#### Almost

(of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; `near' is sometimes used informally for `nearly' and `most' is sometimes used informally for `almost';

The job is (just) about done

The baby was almost asleep when the alarm sounded

We're almost finished

The car all but ran her down

He nearly fainted

Talked for nigh onto 2 hours

The recording is well-nigh perfect

Virtually all the parties signed the contract

I was near exhausted by the run

Most everyone agrees

#### Practically

By means of practice or use; by experience or experiment; as, practically wise or skillful; practically acquainted with a subject.

#### Practically

In practice or use; as, a medicine practically safe; theoretically wrong, but practically right.

#### Practically

Almost.

#### Practically

Almost;

He was practically the only guest at the party

#### Practically

(degree adverb used before a noun phrase) for all practical purposes but not completely;

Much the same thing happened every time

## Common Curiosities

#### What does "almost" imply?

"Almost" implies something is nearly but not fully completed or achieved.

#### Does "practically" indicate exactness?

No, "practically" indicates functional completeness without exactness.

#### Does "practically" imply exaggeration?

Sometimes, it can imply something is true for all practical purposes, though not exactly.

#### Is "almost" used in formal contexts?

Yes, "almost" is appropriate in both formal and informal contexts.

#### Is "practically" often used in spoken language?

Yes, especially in contexts emphasizing practical outcomes.

#### How is "practically" different from "almost"?

"Practically" suggests something is close enough to be effectively true, focusing on functional sufficiency.

#### Can "almost" and "practically" be used interchangeably?

Not always; "almost" emphasizes the small remaining gap, while "practically" emphasizes near-completeness for practical purposes.

#### Can "almost" refer to quantities?

Yes, e.g., "I almost drank the whole bottle."

#### Can "almost" and "practically" both describe actions?

Yes, but they convey different nuances.

#### Can "almost" refer to time?

Yes, e.g., "It’s almost midnight."

#### Do "almost" and "practically" convey a sense of near completion?

Yes, both imply something is nearly finished, with "practically" focusing more on functional sufficiency.

#### How does "almost" handle degrees or extents?

It shows something is very close to a certain degree, e.g., "almost full."

#### Can "practically" be synonymous with "effectively"?

Yes, both can mean nearly the same in practical terms.

#### Does "practically" downplay the importance of minor details?

Yes, it focuses on the overall practical outcome.

#### Is "almost" suitable for emotional expressions?

Yes, e.g., "I almost cried."

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Written by

Fiza RafiqueFiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

Edited by

Tayyaba RehmanTayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.