Supposedly vs. Supposably | Dictionary.com Blog

Sometimes the right word is not as right as you think. But, then again, it might work well as dialogue for one of your characters.

Have you ever heard someone use the word supposably and wondered what they meant? Maybe it’s a synonym for supposedly? Or a mistake? Supposedly and supposably are often confused, most famously by Joey from Friends. Both of these words come from the English word suppose, which is a combination of sup- (a variant of sub- meaning “slightly,” “imperfectly,” “nearly”) and pose meaning “to assert, state, or put forward.” Supposedly predates supposably by more than 100 years. What is the difference between these two words today? Supposedly is an adverb that means “according to what is accepted or believed to be true; seemingly, purportedly.” It is typically used when someone wants to convey doubt, as in this recent op-ed from the New York Times: “The other risk, raised by some City Council members and advocates for the poor and working class, is that supposedly ‘affordable’ rents can still be too high for too many struggling New Yorkers.” Though the strict grammarians at BuzzFeed have

Source: Supposedly vs. Supposably | Dictionary.com Blog

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