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Since verily means truly or certainly. Can I use it where I would normally use certainly?


I certainly think that is appropriate.

I verily think that is appropriate.

If yes, are there instances where these are not interchangeable?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Verily is archaic, and nowadays used primarily as a (facetious) interjection, usually in combination with other archaic terms ( forsooth! ) and constructions. So while your example is not wrong, you'd be more likely to hear something like:

Verily! Methinks that is appropriate.

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Does that mean if I can use "certainly", (although unusual) it will technically be correct to use "verily" in it's place? – Dian Feb 15 '11 at 7:28
@Dian: Yes, that's right. – Jon Purdy Feb 15 '11 at 7:32
I see. Thanks! A couple of friends and I are getting a kick out of using old unusual words in our dialogues. I just wanted to make sure I was using it properly. – Dian Feb 15 '11 at 7:36
@Dian: Actually the meaning/usage is closer to "truly" than to "certainly". – ShreevatsaR Feb 15 '11 at 13:27
@ShreevatsaR: Okay, noted. – Dian Feb 16 '11 at 2:06

If you were to join up with a local branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism you would likely find people using it on a regular basis. Otherwise, it is probably best if you ignore this particular word, as the use of it will verily get you awkward looks.

Additionally, I do believe that's an adverb so bear that in mind as well as you use it.

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