The phrase in particular when used as a conjunctive adverb may appear at the beginning, middle or end of the sentence (cf. however):
‘The last chapters, in particular, are a marvel of lucid prose.’
In particular also identifies nouns specifically (‘This author in particular’) and in this case usually comes after the noun it points to.
Particularly may modify verbs, adjectives and adverbials, meaning ‘to an unusual degree,’ and is usually placed before the word it modifies. In contrast to in particular, the word particularly is used neither as a conjunctive adverb nor to draw attention to a noun:
‘Crows in particular have great intelligence’ and not *‘
Crows particularly have great intelligence’ (but ‘Crows have particularly great intelligence’ correctly uses particularly as an intensifier).
Definitions and examples
- To a higher degree than is usual or average.
‘There are times, particularly in the mornings, when I think I have cracked the problem that has been tormenting me for years.’
(as a submodifier) ‘This article is particularly helpful’
- 1. Used to single out a subject to which a statement is especially applicable.
‘The CND leadership particularly condemned those actions which had a disruptive flavour.’
‘An already antiquated industrial economy was overtaken by newer and more competitive ones in export and domestic markets, particularly by German manufactures.
- So as to give special emphasis to a point; specifically.
‘The author particularly makes demands on the reader in using abstruse language.’
‘This chapter will show the principal trends in population distribution since the inter-war period, focusing particularly on the last couple of decades.’
- Especially (used to show that a statement applies to one person or thing more than any other)
‘The fundamental problem as conceived by the middle-class moralists was the effect of industrialisation and urbanisation, and in particular factory work, on the working-class family and the role of the woman within it.’
Often in particular is placed after the noun that it identifies (‘and factory work in particular’ is also possible in the above sentence):
‘This article is helpful in particular’ – this particular article is singled out as being helpful
[cf. above ‘This article is particularly helpful’ – this article is exceedingly helpful.]
‘In particular, the author fails to address the ethical questions surrounding the issue.’
In particular can never replace particularly to modify a verb, adjective or adverb:
‘I don’t particularly want to be reminded of that time.’
‘I don’t in particular want to be reminded of that time.‘
There is an overlap in usage for particularly in senses 1 and 1.1 and in particular:
Family limitation can first be inferred, primarily from the data of the 1911 census, among the families of professional men, particularly/ in particular the clergy, doctors, and lawyers.
If in the sentence
‘Because it affects primarily younger people, and in particular young women, it has a powerful effect upon life expectancy’
we instead wrote
‘Because it affects primarily younger people, and particularly young women, it has a powerful effect upon life expectancy’
there is a possible misreading of particularly young as a unit (= very young) rather than young women being identified as in particular affected.
While particularly is not used as a conjunctive adverb in modern English, this was not always the case: Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe contains examples such as ‘ “Particularly,” said I, aloud (though to myself), “what should I have done without a gun, without ammunition […]?” ’ where we would now say, “In particular, what should I have done… ”)
“Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly don’t tell them where they know the fish.” – Mark Twain
(A fish story is an improbable, boastful tale, alluding to fishermen’s proverbial tendency to exaggerate the size of their catch. Likewise, a tall story or tall tale is one that is fanciful, far-fetched.)