I knew that "-ed-" in supposedly and assuredly are pronounced out as a syllable unlike when they don't have "-ly". I found a list of words ending in "-edly" (1), and found some other similar examples (amazedly, allegedly, advisedly, involvedly, designedly, confessedly, ...). However some words (bewilderedly, biasedly, embarrassedly, ...), look like exceptions(?) since "-ed-"s in these words are not pronounced as a syllable, and such cases seem to be a minority.

Can the pronunciation of words ending with "-edly" explained somehow, such as by some rule?

  • 1
    Are you sure these are words? Amazedly, involvedly, designedly, biasedly, embarrassedly? Mar 24, 2023 at 21:32
  • Note that in words like "allegedly," the original "alleged" has the last syllable stressed; with "bewilderedly," the original "bewildered" does not have stress on the last syllable. I suspect this is relevant.
    – alphabet
    Mar 24, 2023 at 21:39
  • Yes, they're adverbs. Even if they're formed from participles with reduced -ed suffixes, like confessed, amazed, designed, the -ed suffix gets a syllable in the adverb. The only exception I can see is bewilderedly, where the ending is /dərdli/, not /dərədli/. Mar 24, 2023 at 21:43
  • 3
    Related: pronunciation of the sequence '-edness'
    – herisson
    Mar 24, 2023 at 21:49
  • @YosefBaskin I can't say whether it sounds natural to use those words as I'm not a native speaker of English, but dictionaries had example sentences for some words, "he seemed confused and taken aback, regarding me amazedly" (Collins), "let me propose a designedly vague criterion" (Oxford). Also I might artificially make phrases like "involvedly designed procedure", "biasedly conducted research", or "embarrassedly ran away", but correct me if they sound wrong.
    – xiver77
    Mar 24, 2023 at 23:01

1 Answer 1


Can the pronunciation of words ending with "-edly" explained somehow, such as by some rule?


Such "rules" fall into four categories:

(i) Those that have as (at least as) many exceptions as compliance.

(ii) Those that are so complex as to be impractical.

(iii) Those that require a thorough knowledge of the etymology of the word.

(iv) Those in which context and tone play an important part in the pronunciation.

  • 1
    Hysterical yet true. Mar 24, 2023 at 22:25
  • While it may fall in your category (ii), I found these set of rules from a related post suggested by a comment interesting, and it actually explained all my listed cases.
    – xiver77
    Mar 24, 2023 at 23:07
  • 1
    @xiver77 I found these set of rules This is either research that you should have done before asking the question, or context you should have given in the first post.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 25, 2023 at 9:59

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