1

Which is the correct word for this sentence?

There is one quality every swimmer should have: perseverance, specially for beginners who experience difficulties.

There is one quality every swimmer should have: perseverance, especially for beginners who experience difficulties.

2

As you can see at Merriam-Webster, a good synonym for "especially" is "particularly", whereas "specially" means "in a special manner". "Particularly" is the sense you want here, so "especially " will work here.

You could have a Valentine's Day gift specially made, to your own specifications, because you especially want to give your loved one something special.

There has been some usage bleed-over through the years, so the difference isn't as clear-cut as it used to be. However, the trend has been to shorten the word used, substituting "specially" in to mean "particularly". The reverse is not the case.

1
  • Thank you Spencer for the useful information. As you've said, it is difficult to distinguish whether to use specially or especially.
    – José A.
    Feb 13 '19 at 4:06

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