Creating an account only takes 20 seconds, and doesn’t require any personal info.

If you’ve got one already, please log in.🤝


From Teflpedia

{-ly} (/li/) is an English suffix.

As a bound morpheme, it generally indicates that the word to which it is bound is an adverb, formed from an adjective by the rule add -ly to make an adjective into an adverb. For example, elegant (adj) → elegantly (adv), etc.[1]

However, there are adjectives ending in -ly that are adjectives, and not all adverbs end in -ly, notably most bare adverbs. A small minority of bare adverbs end in -ly, e.g. ugly (the adverb form of which can be uglily or ugly).

Another bound morpheme may be bound after -ly, in which case the spelling changes from -ly to -li-, e.g. manly → manliness.

In addition, there are a number of nouns and verbs that are spelt ending in -ly, and most (though not all) of these don’t contain the -ly morpheme. For example nouns; ally, butterfly, gully, jelly, jolly, lily, orderly, supply.[2] And verbs ally, apply, bully, imply, multiply, rely, supply, sully, tally, etc.[3]

-ly is a cognate with Dutch "-lijk,” German "-lich" Swedish "-lig,” and a doublet with the suffix -like. Many English adverbs ending in -ly have the same root as French adverbs that end in -ment, e.g. (en) rarely is a cognate with (fr) rarement; (en) absolutely is cognate with (fr) absolument, etc.

References[edit | edit source]