I never understand the difference between these three words, and nobody has never been able to explain it to me. I searched about it on many books, and websites, but I just didn't get it. Can you please try to explain it to me? Thank you.


Let's first focus on their usages as adverbs. Adjective meanings are different.

A. As adverbs, 的确 and 确实 are the same. They mean 'indeed': without any question

  • used in response to a statement that is regarded as doubtful or surprising

  • used when making a statement that adds to or strengthens a previous statement

For example, "A: 你会给朋友推荐这本书吗?B: 没错,我(的确/确实/真的)会给朋友推荐这本书。" (A: Would you recommend this book to your friends? B: Yes, I will indeed recommend this book to my friends.)

B. As an adverb, 实在 means really/very: — used to refer to what is true or intensive (the latter is not in 的确/确实):

  • without question or doubt

  • to a great degree

For example, you can say "实在漂亮". It just means really/very beautiful.

In summary, to say 'in fact or indeed', you can use any of 的确, 确实 and 实在. But to mean 'really / very', you can only use 实在.

For example, After watching the movie, I think it is indeed a good one. 看完电影以后,我觉这(的确/确实/实在)是部不错的电影。

After I won a free movie ticket, I was really really happy. 赢得了免费的电影票,我实在是太高兴了. (but not 的确/确实)

Hope it helps a bit. As adjectives, they are also different but less subtle.

  • 1
    thank you! this helped A LOT! it's much easier than I thought! really thank you! I have struggled with these 3 words since forever – loredana castagna Jun 3 '15 at 14:58
  • You are welcome. I am glad it helped. I feel sorry that very few dictionaries gave good explanations about these words. – Danke Xie Jun 3 '15 at 21:02

loredana castagna 你很实在,“What's the difference between 的确,确实 and 实在” 这个 的确(确实)是个比较难解释的问题。 而我也是个实在人,的确(确实)在认真回答你的问题。

  • additional information: "实用汉语近义虚词词典"相关条目[不同]2。"实在"可以用在当面表示歉意或感谢的句子里,加强语气;"的确、确实"很少这样用:1。是我搞错了,把你的东西给了他,实在对不起!(的确✔ 确实✔ )2。你辛苦了,实在太谢谢你了!(的确✔ 确实✔ )4。"确实、实在"都可以作定语、谓语,但意思不同:"确实"表示真实可靠,多用于事物,不能受"不、很、非常"等副词修饰;"实在"表示真实、不虚假,多用于人,可以受"不、很、非常"等副词修饰:1。没有确实的证据不要乱说。(的确✕实在✕)2。你说的这个消息确实吗?(的确✕实在✕)3。李力是个很实在的小伙子。(的确✕确实✕)4。李力的爸爸希望他学个实在的技术。(的确✕确实✕)5。张先生太客气,不实在。(的确✕确实✕) – user6065 Jun 3 '15 at 13:47

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