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14.8: Some Changes with -ly

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Some Changes with -ly

1. Usually when the suffix -ly is added to a stem, it just adds on, by simple addition, with no changes. You only need remember that when the stem ends with an <l>, since -ly begins with an <l>, there will be an <ll> in the new word: careful + ly = carefully, illegal + ly = illegally, cruel + ly = cruelly.

2. But there are two cases in which changes do occur when -ly is added to stems.

First, if the stem ends in the letter <c> - especially if it ends in the suffix -ic- and if we were to add the stem and suffix through simple addition, we would get a misspelling, as in: basic + ly = *basicly. What we have to do is insert the suffix -al between the stem and the -ly: basic + ly = basic + al + ly = basically. We insert this -al even if we do not have a word that ends in -al, such as *basical.

3. Analyze the following adverbs, to show this insertion, as we've done with the first one:

Adverb = Stem ending in <c> + -al + -ly
basically = basic + al + ly
athletically = athletic + al + ly
democratically = democratic + al + ly
scientifically = scientific + al + ly
characteristically = characteristic + al + ly
sympathetically = sympathetic + al + ly
artistically = artistic + al + ly
heroically = heroic + al + ly
ecstatically = ecstatic + al + ly
patriotically = patriotic + al + ly
enthusiastically = enthusiastic + al + ly
electrically = electric + al + ly

Notice the <ll>'s in all of these words: one for the -al, one for the -ly. The only known holdout to this -al insertion is publicly.

4. Look at the italicized words in this sentence: “The babies cried all during the trial. ”Then fill in the blanks:

The <y>-to- <\mathrm{i}> Rule: When you add a suffix to a stem that ends with a <y> that has a consonant letter right in front of it, you change the <y> to \underline{<i>}.

5. Each of the following adverbs has been made by adding -ly to an adjective that ended in <y>. In each case when the -ly was added, the <y> at the end of the adjective changed to an <\mathrm{i}>. Analyze each adverb and show the way the <y> was changed to an <\mathrm{i}>, as we've done with he first one:

Adverb = Adjective that ends in <y> + Suffix -ly
merrily = merr\cancel{y} + i + ly
angrily = angr\cancel{y} + i + ly
busily = bus\cancel{y} + i + ly
extraordinarily = extraordinar\cancel{y} + i + ly
uneasily = uneas\cancel{y} + i + ly
icily = ic\cancel{y} + i + ly
hastily = hast\cancel{y} + i + ly
satisfactorily = satisfactor\cancel{y} + i + ly
readily = read\cancel{y} + i + ly
heartily = heart\cancel{y} + i + ly
steadily = stead\cancel{y} + i + ly
heavily = heav\cancel{y} + i + ly
necessarily = necessar\cancel{y} + i + ly
ordinarily = ordinar\cancel{y} + i + ly
temporarily = temporar\cancel{y} + i + ly

Teaching Notes.

Item 3. Why publicly is a holdout to the -al insertion pattern is not entirely clear. But it may have something to do with the fact that the <ic> spelling of both publicly and public came very late. Earlier spellings of public were publyke, publike, publique, publicque, publycke, publyque, publicke, publick, publiq. In the 16^\mathrm{th} century public appeared and quickly became the standard. Publicly did not appear until the 19^\mathrm{th} century. The now-obsolete, but more regular, publically is given by the OED as an accepted variant, though contemporary American-English dictionaries do not list it. The OED gives several citations for publically from the 20^\mathrm{th} centuries.

Item 4. There are some complications to the <y> to <\mathrm{i}> change: The shift occurs in daily (da\cancel{y} + i + ly) even though the <y> is preceded not by a consonant but by a vowel. In dryly and shyly the change does not occur, although there is a more regular variant drily.

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Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Jul 07, 2015
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