Let's say I count some items and the result is exactly 1000. How do I convey the fact that the actual count was 1000, and that I didn't round the number? It should fit into a sentence like "Overall, we found 1000 items that are related to X."


Your use of exactly is fine. You also could say precisely

exactly [Example: precisely two o'clock]

  • 3
    Either word is fine, but using both is pleonastically redundant. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Sep 20 '13 at 12:45
  • @TimLymington Never even heard pleonastic before. Nice word. But wouldn't you say "Either word is fine, but using both is pleonastic." It is already an adjective. "Pleonastically redundant" sounds (this is so much fun) pleonastic to my newly informed ear. LOL. – mikeY Sep 20 '13 at 15:13
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    @mikeY I'm pretty sure Tim is repeating the repetition for effect. – choster Sep 20 '13 at 20:41
  • @TimLymington. the definition in M-W is exactly. What follows in italics is an example. My layout of this was less than clear. I will edit. – bib Sep 21 '13 at 15:20
  • @choster Yep. I realized it later. I did a face palm. – mikeY Sep 23 '13 at 15:19

In contexts where a system of modifications is expected, you could say


Likewise, if rounding is a detrimental by-product of a process, you could also say


As you said, "exactly" is a fine word:

Around 3 million dollars were spent,
but the exact number is $2,784,241.00, representing

  • trade
  • infrastructure
  • border control
  • unicorn trafficking

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