A Quick Guide to Spell Likely Correctly

English can be very tricky when it comes to spelling. With so many grammar and spelling rules followed by plenty of exceptions, it can sometimes be overwhelming. The irregular spellings can be a cause for misspellings. But when the common English words are mistaken, it can question your credibility as a writer. How do you spell likely?

Have you ever written it as ‘likley’ when in a rush? Check out this article to spell the word right and learn its use in the correct context.

How Do You Spell Likely?

‘Likely’ is a 6-lettered word, spelled as L-I-K-E-L-Y with 2 vowels and 4 consonants. To spell the word correctly, you must focus on its pronunciation. This is a 2 syllable word, like-ly, with the stress on the first syllable. Based on the dictionary, its phonetic transcription is /ˈlʌɪkli/ with a long e sound in the middle. Both Americans and British pronounce the word as [lai·klee].

To spell ‘likely’ correctly, split the word in its root word and suffix as in:

Like (root word) + ly (suffix) = Likely

Spelling Rule to Follow:

If an adjective ends in -e, we directly add the suffix -ly to the word to form the adverb. Example: Polite (politely), complete (completely).

However, you must be careful when an adjective ends in -le. Then we need to remove the final e and add only -y to form the adverb. Example: probable (probably), reasonable (reasonably).

person holding on red pen while writing on book
Photo by lilartsy on Unsplash

Definitions of Likely With Example Sentences

Likely‘ can function both as an adjective and an adverb based on its usage. Following are its dictionary definitions with examples.

As an Adjective: It refers to something which has a high probability of happening or being true. It also means something or someone is apparently suitable, promising, or qualified.

  • What is the likely outcome of this project?
  • Please remind me about the phone call because I am likely to forget.
  • This is likely to be the most accurate solution.
  • She seems to be a likely candidate for this position.
  • It seems likely that the dollar rates will rise.

As an Adverb: probably or in all possibility.

  • I will likely not be home this evening.
  • He will most likely be late tonight.
  • They are quite likely to ask you for the certificate of insurance.
  • She is most likely not go to work to
  • It will likely be sunny tomorrow.

Wrapping Up

How do you spell likely? To avoid misspelling the word, you must break it down into its root word and suffix, as in ‘like + ly = likely.’ This will help you with the pronunciation, making it easy to spell the word right. This article covers how to pronounce and write the word correctly and how to use it in various contexts.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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