The word, actually means to "emphasize a fact or a comment, or that something is really true."

So why is whatsoever used in this sentence

You have no right whatsoever to read what is written inside.

Can I use the word "actually" to replace the word "whatsoever"?

  • Please check dictionary meanings of the two words and also study their usage. Tell us what differences you have found. The question is at the risk of being closed for insufficient home work I'd say, rather than being inappropriate.
    – Kris
    Sep 11, 2013 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


I disagree with RyeBread. You can't really interchange the two. "Whatsoever" can only be used with negative words to intensify the negative meaning. "Actually" implies a contradiction, rather than emphasis and can be used in both positive and negative contexts. Examples:

  • "I don't have any books whatsoever" (means that I have no books with the emphasis on my complete lack of books).
  • "I actually don't have any books" OR "I don't have any books, actually" (means that I have no books, but previous conversation implied or expected that I had books, and now I'm correcting that notion).
  • "I don't have any books whatsoever, actually" OR "I actually don't have any books whatsoever" (means that I really don't have any books and it's a contradiction to what was said before, a sort of combination of the two preceding sentences).

If you replace "whatsoever" with "actually" in the given sentence, the meaning changes from a harsh command to a rebuke or denial.

One final note: if I had to use "actually", I'd put it before "have". It can go where the "whatsoever" is, but the intonation pattern of the sentence must change dramatically, and the harshness of the sentence decreases.

  • Always try to support your arguments with suitable references. It was easy to include at least dictionary entries in this case, to start with.
    – Kris
    Sep 11, 2013 at 7:24

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