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I think use of "usually" and "normally" is similar in English usage, and both are correct and exchangeable. I prefer 'normally' in most of my writings. Is there any suggestion for me?

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Though ultimately they imply nearly the same thing, usually relates more to time and frequency while normally is about the nature of circumstances. –  Kris Apr 18 '12 at 4:37
    
That comment from @Kris is basically your answer, TechShali. –  Amos M. Carpenter Apr 18 '12 at 4:55
    
Things are usually abnormal. –  donothingsuccessfully Apr 18 '12 at 6:38
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Also, normally has a different meaning if you are in a scientific (statistic) context. –  nico Apr 18 '12 at 6:48
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3 Answers 3

Usual comes from the Latin usus which means custom, while normal is from the Latin norma meaning rule or pattern.

Though the two words are used interchangeably, there is an etymological difference: You use usually when you talk of a habit or custom and normally when there is an underlying rule or order.

Examples:

  • I usually do not wake up before 10 AM. (Your personal habit)
  • The school normally closes at four in the afternoon. (The rules of the school)
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"Usually" does not seem to quote the same amount of regularity. An event may usually occur, but that almost implies that the other events have and will occur in its place. On the other hand, "normally" seems to imply that unless there are extraordinary circumstances, this is what will occur.

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Based on your answer here are two examples I should think before using. Usually, I do it. Normally, I don't do it. –  TechShali Apr 18 '12 at 6:01

Normally (OAAD)

1 - usually: in normal circumstances

I'm not normally allowed to stay out late.
It's normally much warmer than this in July.
It normally takes 20 minutes to get there.

2 - in the usual or ordinary way

Her heart is beating normally.
Just try to behave normally.

Usually (OAAD)

in the way that is usual or normal; most often

I'm usually home by 6 o'clock.
We usually go by car.
How long does the trip usually take?

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protected by tchrist Jun 20 at 16:26

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