Use of precisely


I wrote the sentence: "What does it precisely mean?". The Grammarly tool sugests me to change the word "precisely" to make the sentence clearer. I changed to "What does precisely it mean?". Now, it is telling me that the verb "mean" must be written like "means". I didn't understand.

See example:

\\si What does precisely it mean?
asked Jul 09 '13 at 08:43 Marcelo Schiessl New member

I would write, "Precisely, what does it mean?"

David CoulterJul 09 '13 at 20:15

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5 answers


Scarlet's suggestion changes the question completely so is not helpful.  The word order and punctuation you need for the question you want to ask is What does it mean, precisely?

link comment answered Jul 09 '13 at 13:00 Shawn Mooney Expert

You should also be aware that precise doesn't necessarily equate to accurate. The easiest way to understand the difference is to think of accuracy as describing how correct something is and precision as describing how detailed something is.

An answer to a question can be very precise. It may go into great detail on the subject and offer a complete explanation. If the information given is wrong, it is inaccurate but still precise.

link comment answered Jul 09 '13 at 13:32 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Thanks guys, I think Shawn really understood what I meant. My doubt was only related to the position of the term "precisely" in the sentence.

link comment answered Jul 09 '13 at 14:47 Marcelo Schiessl New member

The word precisely mean accurately or exactly. Your sentence could have been "What is the meaning of precisely?" or "What does precisely mean?".

link comment answered Jul 11 '13 at 09:29 Scarlet Darwin Contributor



in exact terms; without vagueness.

"the guidelines are precisely defined"

exactly (used to emphasize the complete accuracy or truth of a statement).

"at 2.00 precisely, the phone rang"

synonyms: exactly, sharp, on the dot; promptly, prompt, dead (on), on the stroke of …, on the dot of …; right, directly, squarely; informalbang (on), spot on, smack, slap, slap bang, plumb; on the button, on the nose, smack dab

"at 2 o'clock precisely, the phone rang"

exactly, absolutely, just, in all respects, in every way, entirely, altogether;
informal to a T

"Toby is precisely the kind of man I have been looking for"

used as a reply to confirm or agree with a previous statement.

"‘You mean it was a conspiracy?’ ‘Precisely.’"

synonyms: yes, exactly, quite, absolutely, right, that's right, just so, quite so, indubitably, without a doubt, definitely; informal you bet, I'll say


"‘You mean it was a conspiracy?’ ‘Precisely’"

link comment edited Jan 17 at 09:54 Cathy Gartaganis Expert

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