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Which one is more grammatically correct?

In my opinion, "outwardly beauty" sounds better but I wanted to be sure it's grammatically correct.

If neither is correct, what is alternative? I considered "external appearance" but that doesn't sound as nice to me

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    Please give a complete sentence that contains the phrase in the way you want to use it. English is a context-dependent language. Both of your phrases could occur in valid English sentences. However they would mean different things. Jun 18, 2020 at 22:40
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    Usually "beauty" is a noun, so the modifier is an adjective. outward beauty. On the other hand, a modifier to an adjective is an adverb. outwardly beautiful
    – GEdgar
    Jun 18, 2020 at 22:56
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    @chaslyfromUK - I can’t think of a case where “Outwardly beauty” works. Her outward beauty could be exceptional. She could be outwardly beautiful. Oh, maybe something like: “Outwardly, beauty was defined by mascara and eyeliner, but inwardly...” but that requires a comma.
    – Jim
    Jun 18, 2020 at 22:59
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    @Jim - It's a fair point. However, in my book, "outwardly" can be an adjective. Here's a list of adjectives ending in "ly". polyglotclub.com/wiki/Language/English/Grammar/… - Example: "Her outwardly beauty was something to behold." Jun 18, 2020 at 23:58
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    @chaslyfromUK Not so fast; that appears "cowardly"!
    – Kaz
    Jun 19, 2020 at 17:04

2 Answers 2

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Your first phrase is not quite correct.

Depending how you want to use it, you want either a noun or an adjectival phrase.

As a noun:

She has outward beauty.

As an adjectival phrase:

She is outwardly beautiful.


Since a complete sentence wasn't used in the question, it's not possible to tell which of those two would be appropriate in the context you're thinking of.

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In this case "outward beauty" would be more correct, as "outward" is an adjective referring to "beauty", a noun, although consider "outer beauty", as it sounds more natural in my opinion.

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