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Truely or Truly: Which is Correct?

Is it Truely or Truly?

One of the more confusing monosyllabic adjectives you will run into as a content writer is the word "true." It's so confusing that some writers have a problem discerning if "true" is changed to truely or truly when "ly" is added. The reason is while many monosyllabic adjectives that end in an "e" keep the "e" when you add the suffix -ly, the word "true" does not. Instead, the "e" is kicked to the curb, and the end result is the only correct way to spell this widely used term: truly.

It's a bit confusing, no doubt, that true drops the "e" when it becomes "truly," especially when many other single-syllable words ending in "e" do not. There are quite a few of them, to be sure, including:

• Time = Timely

• Nice = Nicely

• Wise = Wisely

• Brave = Bravely

• Loose = Loosely

• Grave = Gravely

• State = Stately

• Close = Closely

• Acute = Acutely

• Bare = Barely

• Cute = Cutely

• Late = Lately

• Mute = Mutely

• Tame = Tamely

One reason true becomes truly is that, unlike many of its monosyllabic brethren, the word true ends with two vowels, which is rather unusual. Indeed, the double vowel ending is one of the best ways to remember that it's truly rather than truly. (There are very few words that end in two vowels.) Besides that, one would need to go far back in the history of the English language to ascertain where this single-syllable adjective split off from the rest.

The True History of the Word Truly

The first known use of the word truly, as far as language historians are concerned, was around the 13th century. It comes from the Old English word triewe, which meant "honest, faithful, trustworthy, steady in adhering to promises." As Old English transformed into Middle English, the early plural form of the word triewe became treuli which, as you can see, has the "u" and the "e" transposed. This spelling was later changed, albeit for a relatively short time, to truely.

Since the 1800s, however, the word "truly" has consistently been spelled "truly" without the "e." Why? That's one of the mysteries of the English language, which has seen many of them over the centuries. Whatever the original spelling might have been, at some point, they tossed the "e" aside, and the word truly became the only correct spelling (no matter what your ears and eyes might be telling you).

Even Benjamin Franklin, one of our greatest wordsmiths, used the correct spelling of the word truly. Franklin was the first Postmaster General of the United States and was one of the editors of the Declaration of Independence. He was also a notoriously bad speller who, for obvious reasons, advocated for the spelling of words similar to the way they sounded when spoken.

As a content writer, it's a necessity you know the correct spelling of truly. Using it with the correct spelling will make your content truly stand out (and keep people from mocking you online for making a silly mistake). Indeed, like the word forty (not fourty), knowing the correct spelling of truly is more or less something you'll need to memorize.

Truly vs. Truely - Some Examples

It often helps to have examples of a word's usage when it comes with as much baggage as the word truly. One thing to note is that, over the last few hundred years, you'll find nary an example of the word "truely" being used. (Go ahead, Google it.)

The fact of the matter is that, no matter what you might have seen online, truely hasn't been correct for a long, long time (if ever). For example, when signing off on a letter, it's always been "Yours truly," and never "Yours truely." Here are a few more truly excellent examples of the correct usage and spelling of this single-syllable adverb:

• The sunset over Kennesaw Mountain was truly spectacular.

• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a truly gifted pianist and is considered a musical genius.

• It was baffling to the jury that the defendant had murdered her husband as she seemed to truly care for him.

• After a long absence, Greg's wife Rosa was truly happy to see him.

• Among monosyllabic adverbs, the word "truly" is truly unique in that the "e" is dropped from its root word, "true."

• They say one can never be truly happy until one finds inner peace.

• The cause of the building collapse was truly baffling.

We Hope This Content has been Truly Eye-Opening

The word truly has been the bane of content writers for years as it's different from many other single-syllable words that end in "e." However, there's no debate whatsoever that truly is the correct spelling. To truly ensure that your content is always 100% grammatically accurate, knowing the correct spelling of truly is essential.


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