Actually and really are both used to emphasize statements. Both words can emphasize a whole clause or sentence, or just a word or group of words.

You use actually when you are saying what the truth is about something, in contrast to other things that might have been said or thought.

1. All of the characters in the novel actually existed.
2. Actually, all pollution is simply an unused resource.

You also use actually to emphasize something surprising. You put actually in front of the surprising part of what you are saying.

3. Tommo actually began to cry.
4. I was actually cruel sometimes.

Actually can be used to be precise or to correct someone.

5. No one was actually drunk.
6. We couldn’t actually see the garden.

You use really in conversation to emphasize something that you are saying.

7. I really think he’s sick.
8. I only wish your people really trusted me.

When you use really in front of an adjective or adverb, it has a similar meaning to ‘very’.

9. This is really serious.
10. It was really good, wasn’t it?
11. We’re doing really well.