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


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.


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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