Are the words 'nearly' and 'almost' completely interchangeable or are they like 'less' and 'fewer' to be used in different circumstances? I have been asked what the difference is by a non-native English speaker and I have no idea.
In the dictionary they are both defined as the other. Is there a difference?
(Sorry for any errors in this post. I live abroad and I am often asked questions about English grammar and I know I am really not the person to ask )
That link includes these examples: 1. That guy is almost impossible. 2. The chicken is still nearly frozen. I thought you�d taken it out of the freezer.
They say you could use nearly in 1, but that sounds slightly odd to my ear.
For 2, I'd find "almost" more natural. Saying "nearly" to me conveys we are heading towards that state, so I would only say "nearly frozen" if I'd put it into the freezer and it was heading towards a frozen state.