Accidentally or Accidently: Which Is It?

Oops! I did it accidentally…or was it? Ways to spell…

Oops! I did it accidentally…or was it? Ways to spell accidentally abound. There is disagreement as to why it needs to spelled this way.

Adverbly Yours: Explaining ‘Accidentally’

The word accidental means to do something by mistake. If you’re wondering what part of speech the word is, it’s an adjective. You would use this word if you got into an accidental situation.

But if you wanted to describe the situation more fully, you would say got into the situation accidentally. ‘Accidentally’ is an adverb. Adverbs are used to describe adjectives more fully.

Why Is Knowing This Important to Spell Accidentally Right?

It’s important to know this because of how the adverb form of words is formed. To form an adverb, you add “ly” to a word. If the adjective you want to describe more fully is accidental, ly added to that is accidentally.

If you follow this reasoning, ‘accidentaly’ becomes a misspelling of the word accidentally and not a word in its own right.

A History of the Words Accidentally/Accidentaly

But some people argue that “accidently” is a word, with its own usage history.

One popular dictionary, the Merriam-Webster shows that “accidentally” has been in use since the 14th century.

Meanwhile, “accidently” has been in use since the 15th century. Before the printing press standardized the language’s spelling, word variations abounded.

“Accidently” has been appearing in written form since the 18th century. There are writers who use it, but it is not considered the standard form of the word.

While this word makes appearances in writing, it is far less common than the word “accidentally.” 

That said, an informal poll of many grammar sites on the Internet reveal that “Accidently” is considered a misspelling. This misspelling is based on the mispronunciation of the word.

But “Accidently” Appears in Some Dictionaries

You’ve always been told by your teachers to check the dictionary if in doubt about a word. However, we tend to forget that dictionaries tend to include words that become commonly used.

According to some grammarians, this doesn’t mean that the particular word is correct. If you can’t trust a dictionary, who can you trust?

In such cases, you’re advised to consult many sources and not just a single dictionary or grammar text.

To Wrap Up

If we’re to go by the majority of opinions, we’ll advise you that “Accidentally” is correct, while “Accidently” is wrong.

This is because accidentally is the correct formation of the adverb. It has also been in use longer by at least a century.

Frequently asked questions

Where do you put accidentally?

  • It is my job to cover up the cars that accidentally hit girls.
  • They are protected from accidental opening by locking so that they do not remain open without fault.
  • Iron plates are used in the ash-pit to ensure contamination from accidentally spilt metal is avoided.

Which is correct misspelled or misspelt?

Correct spelling is misspelling. There is a common error called misspelling. Misspell is misspelled in American English in the past. However, misspelt is also acceptable in other English varieties.

Why do people say on accident ‘?

“On accident” (meaning “accidentally”) seems like an unusual usage that frequently appears in opposition to the more idiomatic “on purpose” (aka “purposefully”). Examples of such idioms include. There is a problem: children explain why something’s wrong: “You broke my toy on purpose!”!”.

What is the antonym of accidentally?

deliberatelyconsciously
designedlywilfully
advisedlyby design
intentionallyon purpose
purposelyby choice

Which spelling is correct grammar or grammer?

Grammar is the study of language structure and function, while grammer is a misspelling. In English, grammar is the correct name. It is common for people to write it as ‘Grammer’ due to its pronunciation.

What does accidental mean in a sentence?

This meeting was purely accidental and happened untoward. This was ruled accidental by the court without intent or carelessness.

Is there word as accidently?

It is a fact that the adverb has been around since 1893. There is a constant appearance of it in published writing, but it is far less common than it is accidentally, and it can sometimes be cited as an error.

What is the synonym of accidentally?

unexpectedly. Unintentionally, unintentional, unplannedly, unrespectedly, or unthinkingly. Unwittingly, unknowingly, unconsciously, subconsciously, unawarely. A mistake, a mistake, mistakenly.

What word class is accidentally?

Dictionary of Macmillan Dictionary of Accuracy (adverb).

Can we use accidentally?

1. I was locked out of the house accidentally by my father. 2. During some accident, she swallowed a glass bead.

Is accidentally grammatically correct?

By keeping in mind the relationship between the adverb and adjective versions of accident, you can remember that accidentally is the correct adequacy.

What does accidently mean?

An accident or coincidence; not planned; accidental meeting.

How do you use accidentally in a sentence?

I accidentally deleted the file while typing. When he accidentally hit his thumb with a hammer, he knew what was going on. On the way to our hotel, I accidentally saw her. My foot was accidentally stepped on by me.

What kind of adverb is accidentally?

Accidentally; unexpectedly; by chance; casually; fortuitously. Penicillin was discovered largely accidentally.

Why is on accident grammatically incorrect?

Traditional phrase is uttered by accident. Without intention or because of chance instead of effort or purpose. The variation On Accident occurs almost exclusively in the United States. It is grammatically similar to the phrase on purpose.

Accidentally or Accidently: Which Is It?

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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