An expression I often use (especially when trying to explain something to someone in a language other than my mother tongue) is:
The conversation usually goes something like this:
Are you saying ___________ ___________ ___________?
I am, at best, at the A2 level in German (and some days I feel more like an A0). Consequently, I rely a lot on machine translators to get me through a conversation. I was doing just this, just this morning, when I wanted to say "Not exactly." The machine translator (DeepL), gave me this:
Sometimes, while I am looking something up with a machine translator, I'll ask
Wie sagt man auf Deutsch ...
just to buy me a little time. Such was the case with my inquiry into "Not exactly." My interlocutor this time was an iTalki tutor of German who, if I'm not mistaken, lived in Germany for something like six years. I pose this question here not because I doubt his mastery of German. I find his pronunciation flawless and he seems quite fluent. I pose this question because our exchange over this one phrase leaves me a bit confused. If my memory serves me correctly, it went something like this:
Wie sagt man auf Deutsch "not exactly"?
[AFTER LOOKING AT THE DEEPL TRANSLATION] I can't say "nicht gerade"?
"Nicht unbedingt" ist besser?
My next question should have been "Warum?" but instead my mind just attempted to process all of this and, such as is the case with most conversations, they are so fluid and fast that you really don't have time to investigate all the myriad of mysteries a language may present in even the shortest of conversations. Later, I decided to look into it a bit more deeply (which is when I discovered that "nicht ganz," "nicht genau," and "nicht wirklich" are other options/synonyms for "not exactly").
By "a bit more deeply" I mean I visited Reverso and conducted a Google search. This usually leads me to an answer that satisfies me to some degree, but this time it didn't. So, I decided to post my question here. What I want to know is, what is the difference between these five phrases (or any other similar ones) and when can I use which?