¿De verdad? Really and actually in Spanish

Learn how to say “really?” “really” and “actually” as a native Spanish Speaker

“Is really “actually” actualmente? Is “really” real?” are some common questions we get from our students. A lot of Spanish learners struggle with “really?” “really” and “actually” because they don’t have a literal translation to spanish, and if you use an online translator it won’t get the meaning you have in your mind. So, if you wanna learn how to use these words, scroll down and follow the process step by step.



  • ¿De verdad? (Really?)

“Really?” is used to confirm an information or to express disbelief about what one is hearing or reading. In Spanish, we have different ways of expressing these attitudes. Check this out:


  • ¿De verdad? (Really?)
  • ¿De veras? (Really?)
  • ¿En serio? (Seriously?)
  • ¿Neta? Used only in México for informal occasions (Really?)


All of them are very similar and can be used interchangeably most of the time. We created some examples so the use is clear for you:

  • Gané una beca para estudiar en el extranjero — ¿En serio? ¡Qué bueno! (here it is used to express disbelief about the news).
  • Estos pájaros vuelan desde Norteamérica hasta Colombia — ¿De verdad? — Sí, es un camino muy largo (here it is used to confirm the information)
  • Ayer fui a visitar a Pedro — ¿De veras? ¿Cómo está? — Muy bien. 
  • ¿Neta? ¿Vas a comprar esos zapatos? Están horribles


  • Muy/Verdaderamente (Really)

The word “really” in english is used to emphasize a quality or characteristic of something. For example, we may say “This car is really amazing!” to say the car is very amazing. In Spanish, we use the terms “muy” ( which can also be translated as “very”) “verdaderamente” and “realmente” to express that same idea. Take a look at these examples to see how they work: 

  • Esa casa es muy cara (That house is very/really expensive).
  • Yo realmente te amo (I really love you).
  • Mónica verdaderamente necesita ese trabajo (Mónica really needs that job).
  • El perro de Juliana y Santiago es realmente hermoso (Juliana and Santiagos dog is really beautiful).


You see? In each case “muy”, “verdaderamente” and “realmente” are use to make an emphasis in the thing or action that goes next. 


  • Realmente (Actually).


It is very likely that you are reading this article because you confused the word “actually” with “actualmente”, so let’s explain this really quick. Even if these two words sound very similar, they have different meanings:

  • Actually: is an adverb that is used for (1) saying something is a fact or a reality (Ex. I didn’t actually go there, I just called) or (2) used in sentences in which there is information that is in some way surprising or the opposite of expected (I’m one of the few people who doesn’t actually like Harry Potter.).
  • Actualmente: In Spanish it is used to express the present moment (Ex. Actualmente trabajo como contador.) In english, the correct translation to this word is “currently”.


With that clear, let’s take a look at the spanish expressions that can be used for “actually”. Depending on the situation, we can use:

  • En realidad
  • En verdad
  • De hecho” (in fact)


To see how they are used, look at these examples:

  • ¿Vas a la fiesta? — En realidad no tengo ganas de ir.
  • ¡Mira, te traje una torta de nueces! — Gracias, pero en verdad soy alérgica a las nueces.
  • ¿Fuiste a casa de tu madre? — De hecho preferí quedarme en casa
  • ¿Quieres comer pasta? — En realidad prefiero ir a comer helado




  • ¡Mira, Antonia! Me gané una beca para estudiar en el exterior (Look, Antonia! I won a scholarship to study abroad!)
  • ¿En serio? ¡Qué bien! ¿Estás emocionada? (Really? That’s good! Are you excited?)
  • En realidad me da un poco de miedo (Actually, I am a little bit scared)
  • No tengas miedo, es realmente una buena oportunidad (Don´t be scared! It is really good opportunity)


  • Jorge, mi computador no funciona. (Jorge, my computer isn’t working)
  • ¿De verdad? ¿Qué le pasó? (Really? What happened to it?)
  • No sé, no enciende. (I don’t know, it wont turn on)
  • Déjame ver… ¡Mira! En realidad no está conectado (Let me see… Look! Actually, it was not plugged)
  • ¡Ya encendió! ¡Qué bueno! Gracias, realmente estaba preocupada (It ‘s on now! That’s good! Thank you, I was really worried)


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