'Wrong' or 'Wrongly'?

Wrongly is an adverb, but that doesn't mean wrong can't be one too. 

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

Wrongly is an adverb, and the word comes up a lot in news stories: people are wrongly arrested, wrongly jailed, wrongly convicted, and wrongly released.

Some people believe that since we already have the adverb wrongly, it must be the only choice, but wrong can also be an adverb—and a noun, verb, and an adjective. (Who knew there were so many ways to go wrong?)

Most often, wrong sounds right when it comes after a verb, as in Things have gone wrong, You heard wrong, and You're doing it wrongWrongly tends to sound better when it comes before a verb, as in wrongly accused.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.

You May Also Like...