Really or Realy — a Quick Spelling Guide

The spelling of some English words is not always straightforward. Many challenging words may trip you up. Missing out a letter when spelling a word might lead to a misspelling or even a different word from the intended. How do you spell really?

Really or Realy — Which Is Correct?

Really and realy are spelled almost the same except for the omission of letter l in one of the words. But this is a big deal!

The word really is an adverb coined by adding the suffix -ly to the adjective real. These two parts combine to give us a new word, ‘really.’ The adverb ‘really‘ serves to modify the adjective ‘real‘ and make it more intensive without changing its original meaning.

Really means “in fact, actually, genuinely or truly.” Spelling the word as realy will mean that you only include -y to the root word, which wouldn’t form the adverb of the word. Hence, realy is a wrong word and doesn’t mean anything in English.

The correct spelling of the adverb formed from real is R-E-A-L-L-Y. Note that the word has a double l. It is a 6-lettered, two-syllable word with four consonants and two vowels. The phonemic pronunciation of really is /rɪli/ with the stress on the first syllable (REAL-ly).

How Do You Spell Really: Tips to Remember

The word ‘really’ is an adverb. Adverbs form when you add the suffix -ly to the root words. Since real is the root word for the adverb, the only correct way to spell it is as really – not as ‘realy.’ The word must be spelled with a double l. Take note of this tip to avoid misspelling the word.

What Part of Speech Is ‘Really?’

Really functions as an adverb. The word is used to say that something is certain. It is also used to express surprise, anger, or interest. Synonyms of the word include: very much, in fact, actually, in reality, as a matter of fact, genuinely, thoroughly, undoubtedly and certainly. The word ‘really‘ can function as an exclamation. When it is used this way, it usually poses a question and could mean: you don’t say, is that a fact, is that so.


  • “I’m getting married next weekend.” What? Really?
  • Dave said he wouldn’t make it to the event. “Oh, really! And he’s just letting us know?”
  • “He promised to support our project.” “Really? Do you think he’s serious?”
  • I really appreciate your goodness towards me; I don’t deserve it.
  • He doesn’t really mean what he said; don’t bother about it.
  • I really enjoyed Mrs. Davies’ class.
  • It really doesn’t matter if you are present at the meeting.
  • I made a really terrible mistake, and I’m sorry about it.
  • You guys really look good together; get married already!
  • I was really embarrassed when you called me a liar in the presence of everyone.
  • I really love ice cream!
  • There is really a lot of activities going on next week.
  • Dave, I really want to see you excel. Just give this another try.
brown pencil and white opened book on brown table
Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

Really is an adverb coined from the adjective real. How do you spellreally? Spell the word as REAL-LY. The spelling change occurs because the suffix -ly is added to the root word real. The combination of the two parts results in the alternate spelling of really. This is the only proper spelling of the word.

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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