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What's the difference between "Not exactly" and "Not really"?

-Can we put off the party until Sunday?

-______. The place is booked in advance, and no other days are available.

A. Not exactly B. Not really

The suggested answer is B. But I don't know what they mean. Can you tell me their exact meanings? And in what situations are they used?

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wangqh2696122-Can we put off the party until Sunday?
-__. The place is booked in advance, and no other days are available.
A. Not exactly B. Not really
The suggested answer is B. But I don't know what they mean.
Yes. B is the right answer.

Your best bet in pursuing this question is to find (perhaps through Google) examples of the use of these expressions, and posting a question on each. The best way to learn the difference is to study examples. There are quite a few different uses of these expressions and they overlap in meaning. Some situations allow for either one.
______________

Not exactly says that what is proposed is not the most precise or accurate way of stating the situation. You can substitute Not really (=That is not truly the case) in all three examples below.

-- Is he lazy?
-- Not exactly. (= I wouldn't say it that way. It's not precise enough for me.) It's more that he suffers from inertia.

-- Is she arrogant?
-- Not exactly. (= I wouldn't say it that way. It's not precise enough for me.) It's more that she is very proud of her accomplishments.

-- So the problem is that the numbers don't add up. Is that right?

-- Not exactly. (= I wouldn't say it that way. It's not precise enough for me.) It's that we can't obtain the right numbers from the database.
__________________________

Only Not really can be used in the following. Here Not really means a definite No, though Not really makes it sound gentler. Often a reason is given, mentioning the circumstances that make the suggestion impossible or undesirable.

-- Can we start an hour early?
-- Not really, because we wouldn't be able to contact everyone in time to let them know of the schedule change.

-- Do you think we a new car?
-- Not really. It does need some repairs, but after that it should be good for another 100,000 miles.
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At other times, Not really is said somewhat apologetically, only for the purpose of not having to say No because No might be too harsh or rude, for example, in rejecting an offer.

-- This book on seashells is really interesting. Would you like to read it?

-- Not really.

-- The history of ancient Mesopotamia is so fascinating, don't you think?
-- Not really.

CJ
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not really here is a polite way of saying 'No'.


not exactly means we can do something close to that, eg maybe we can put the party off until Monday.

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Comments  
Cj,

Thank you! It seems to me that, from your examples and explanation, the usages of the two expressions categorized in the following way:

1) Both mean “Not completely true”;

2)”Not really” can also mean “No”, but in a less strong way or apologetic way

So for the sake of safety, I’d better use “Not really”.
wangqh26961221) Both mean “Not completely true”;
2)”Not really” can also mean “No”, but in a less strong way or apologetic way
True.
wangqh2696122So for the sake of safety, I’d better use “Not really”.
True, but why not take some risks now and then just to improve your understanding of "Not exactly" as well? Emotion: smile

CJ
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Not exactly. The place is booked in advance
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.