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To my understanding, actual yield is what we would find in a lab environment physically conducting the reaction. With the context of a problem, we would probably be asked to find the theoretical yield and be given the actual yield to find the % yield. Hope this helps.
If we are asked to find a solution from a limiting reactant problem, for example, we will most often be evaluating the theoretical yield unless the problem explicitly states otherwise. Actual yield is what we get from the experiment that was conducted and will be less than the theoretical yield unless there are special circumstances.
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