‘Truly' or 'Truely': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on November 30, 2022

There is some confusion around the correct spelling of the word ‘truly’ or ‘truely.’ This article will completely clear up that confusion.

The correct spelling is ‘truly.’ The ‘e’ gets removed in the process of transforming the adjective ‘true’ into an adverb.

What is the Correct Spelling - ‘Truly’ or ‘Truely’?

‘Truly’ is an adverb that stems from the adjective ‘true.’

The correct spelling is ‘truly.’ It’s never okay to spell the word ‘truely.’

As I’m sure you already know, there are many confusing words in English where the spelling doesn’t seem to make sense, such as ‘forty,’ ‘lens,’ or ‘column.’

It is sometimes thought the correct spelling is ‘truely’ because often, when adding the adverb suffix -ly to an adjective that ends in -e, you would keep the -e.

See the following examples:

  • Nice → nicely
  • Fine → finely
  • Absolute → absolutely

But there are, of course, some exceptions, and ‘truly’ is one of them. Here are some others:

  • Crumble → crumbly
  • Bubble → bubbly

Another common misspelling of the word is “trully,” but this is also incorrect.

What Does ‘Truly’ Mean?

Now let’s take a look at the definition of the word, as well as its grammatical makeup.

An Adverb

As already mentioned, ‘truly’ is an adverb that stems from the adjective ‘true.’

Like with most adverbs, you just need to take the adjective (in this case, 'true’) and add the adverb suffix -ly.

An adverb can modify a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or an entire sentence. Here are some examples of each of these respectively:

I truly believe he had the best intentions.

We’re truly grateful for all your help.

You truly never speak the truth, do you?

Truly, he was baffled by the gesture.

Definition of the Word

‘Truly’ comes from the adjective ‘true’ or the noun ‘truth.’ It’s an adverb you can use to emphasize the honest and true nature of what you’re about to say.

Some common phrases using the word ‘true’ include:

  • True love - to emphasize that the love is real
  • Dream come true - to describe something that used to be a dream and is now a reality
  • Never a truer word spoken - to refer to an honest and accurate statement that someone has made

Examples of ‘Truly’ in a Sentence

Now that we know what it means and the correct way to spell it, let’s look at some sentences that use the word ‘truly.’

I truly have no idea what you’re referring to.

We’re truly sorry to hear about your loss.

He never told me anything, truly.

It’s clear they truly care for each other.

Truly, you are my closest friend.

We never truly die; our spirits live on.

Am I the only person around here who truly loves Christmas?

You don’t truly believe that, do you?

Concluding Thoughts

So there you have it. ‘Truly’ is an adverb and the only correct spelling is without the -e. ‘Truely’ is an error.

With confusing words such as this, the only way to truly get it right (see what I did there?) is to memorize the correct spelling. Sure, some sites will give you mnemonics, such as to remember that the extra 'e' stands for ‘error,’ but how will you remember which adverbs that extra ‘e’ is an error for and which ones it is not? As I said, memorizing it is the way forward.

I’m not suggesting that you learn these all by heart. But through practice, these things become committed to memory. Just make sure you keep reading high-quality English articles, books, and other texts, and your brain will take care of the rest!

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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