Actual

Consider this sentence:

  • What does Mr. Morales think about the actual Brexit crisis?

Here the use of “actual” is incorrect, the correct form of the sentence being:

  • What does Mr. Morales think about the present (or current) Brexit crisis?

“Actual” means “real” o verdadero”. “Actual” in English never means “actual” in Spanish, which one translates (que se traduce por) as present or current. Let´s look at some examples:

  • Alejandro says he is 28, but his actual age is 48 (Alejandro dice que tiene veintiocho años pero en realidad tiene cuarenta y ocho).
  • Those were his actual words (ésas fueron sus palabras textuales).
  • What were his actual words (¿cuales fueron sus palabras exactas?)?
  • The judge cited actual cases (el juez citó cases reales).

The adverb “actually” means “en realidad” and in English it is used for emphasis or to correct a misconception (una idea falsa). Consider this example:

  • Mr. Morales is actually very bright (en realidad el Señor Morales es muy inteligente).
  • Actually, I would not rather go (la verdad es que preferiría no ir).