Really

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Really is one of the 117 mis-spellings listed as 'Common difficulties' in the section on 'Spelling' within 'Writing' in UEfAP.

  • The adverb really, like the adjective real from which it is built, has two vowel letters - '-e-' and '-a-'.
  • Really has two '-l-'s, one from real and one from the adverbial suffix -ly.
Pronunciation note: it was quite common for writers snobbishly indicating an accent to record the sound of really, as spoken by uneducated (or genteel) speakers, as a monophthong, the long vowel '-ee-', by the spelling reelly. This indicates that careful speakers should be certain to realize really as a diphthong (/ɪə/), or even a diaeresis: 'Ree-u-lly', IPA: /ˈriː ə lɪ/

For a not uncommon typing error, see Relay - rely.

Beware of using really as an intensifier in formal academic writing. Use very instead.