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I used actually in this sentence but my teacher said that doesn't make sense. He looks like fearless but actually he is not so brave. What did I do wrong?

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2 Answers

There is something wrong with that sentence, but it's not the word "actually". To be grammatical, the first part should be something like: "he looks fearless but", "he looks like he is fearless but", or "he looks like a hero but".

In this construction, an adjective should go directly after "looks". You can put nouns or phrases after "he looks like".

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As the smae as I think.Thank you very much! –  user37328 Feb 12 '13 at 22:07
    
Isn't smae Scottish for small? –  Robusto Feb 12 '13 at 22:44
    
The use of like as a pragmatic marker (the sort used as a filler to give the speaker time to decide on the best way to phrase the sentence): He looks - like - fearless, but actually he is not so brave. / He looks - er - fearless, but actually he is not so brave. / He looks - well - fearless, but actually he is not so brave. is not favourably countenanced by some people. –  Edwin Ashworth Feb 12 '13 at 23:47
    
The use of actually as a pragmatic marker (here, the sort used to comment on the truthfulness, factuality or reliability of the accompanying proposition) (ie a 'veridical' marker) is widely accepted (though some people still like to keep it in the adverb hotchpotch). –  Edwin Ashworth Feb 12 '13 at 23:53
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In my mind, the "actually" sounds a little off where it's located.

I would say, "He looks fearless, but he is actually not so brave."

I think this may just be a matter of personal preference, as I don't see anything grammatically incorrect with either construction.

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The position of actually in the OP's example is indeed a bit informal, and yours is standard. But neither is actually wrong. –  Cerberus Feb 12 '13 at 23:01
    
@Cerberus: "... but actually he is not so brave." "... but he is actually not so brave." "... but he is not actually so brave." "... but he is not so brave, actually." All are fine variations and partake of no degree of formality or informality. –  Robusto Feb 12 '13 at 23:13
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Equally, But actually, neither is wrong. –  TimLymington Feb 12 '13 at 23:14
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@Robusto: I don't know, the disjunct still sounds slightly less formal to me. But it doesn't matter. –  Cerberus Feb 12 '13 at 23:17
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