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Word comparisons

Note 349 – Is it spelt accidentally or accidently?

Before you read on, which do you think is the correct spelling: accidentally or accidently?  I hope no one spotted the accidental misspelling of the word accidentally in yesterday’s post (Note 348 – Accidentally overwriting blog posts) before I changed it.  This is apparently a commonly misspelt word of which I am guilty of unfortunately (not anymore though!).

Although I now know that accidentally is the correct spelling, it niggles me that the incorrect spelling ‘accidently’ has (over the years) been accepted as a variant.  Some dictionaries show both just because the word proves to be popular, but this doesn’t make it right.  A member on English suggests picking a dictionary and sticking to it with all your words and also adds that accidentally is “more right, if there is such a thing”.

Tip for remembering the spelling

English for Students website says that an easy way to remember this spelling is to remember the spelling of accidental. You just need to add ‘-ly’ (just remember not to add ‘-ly’ to accident or you’ll end up with *accidently* which is incorrect).

-ally suffixes

A similar word with an ‘-ally’ suffix is incidentally.

Dictionary links

Merriam Webster online dictionary shows both accidentally and accidently
Oxford Dictionaries online shows only accidentally
Cambridge Dictionaries online shows only accidentally

I think I’ll go with accidentally!

Until tomorrow…

17 days of My Writing Challenge to go


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer



  1. Pingback: WHAT DOES HONGER MEAN?? | mktatu - April 14, 2012

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