Supposedly vs. Supposably


Have you ever heard someone use the word supposably and wondered what they meant? Maybe it’s a synonym for supposedly? Or a mistake? Supposedly and supposably are often confused, perhaps most famously by Joey from Friends. Both of these words come from the English word suppose, which is a combination of sup- (a variant of sub- meaning “slightly,” “imperfectly,” “nearly”) and pose meaning “to assert, state, or put forward.” Supposedly predates supposably by more than 100 years. What is the difference between these two words today?

Supposedly is an adverb that means “according to what is accepted or believed to be true; seemingly, purportedly.” It is typically used when someone wants to convey doubt, as in this recent op-ed from the New York Times: “The other risk, raised by some City Council members and advocates for the poor and working class, is that supposedly ‘affordable’ rents can still be too high for too many struggling New Yorkers.”

Though the strict grammarians at BuzzFeed have lamented that our world is ending because so many people use supposably, it is a valid word that is recorded in several dictionaries of English, including Dictionary.com. However, it has historically carried a slightly different meaning than supposedly; supposably means “conceivably.” Most people use it interchangeably with supposedly, which is technically incorrect (despite the fact that the meaning is typically understood).

In this 1845 example, the author considers scenarios in which a parent’s authority may be revoked: “The only justifiable, or supposeably proper, occasion for taking this business out of the hand of the parent [...] is, that he will not attend to it [...]. This is a case which may be supposed.”

In our research, we encountered a strange and extreme spike in the use of the word supposably between the 1860s and the 1930s in Google Ngram. This word never came close to the usage volume as supposedly, but the trend is notable.

Which one should you use? Since there is much ado about supposably and its meaning is very specific, we recommend that you stick with supposedly.

Where do you stand on the use of supposably?



  1. simonsez -  July 13, 2016 - 3:38 am

    While I believe the author/editor of this article has stated the following sentence correctly, I believe the statement lends itself to confusion(?):

    “Most people use it interchangeably with supposedly, which is technically incorrect (despite the fact that the meaning is typically understood).”

    The “it” in the above sentence references the word supposably; however, when read, the statement would seem to indicate that use of supposedly is technically incorrect, which would be incorrect; correct?

    • simonsez -  July 13, 2016 - 3:48 am

      Just to be clear, my understanding is that the interchangeable use of the two words is what is “technically incorrect”. The wording just makes it appear that the word “supposedly” is potentially being misused…

      • Emi -  November 2, 2016 - 12:57 pm

        What, what about supposedly?

      • Sandra -  November 29, 2016 - 6:35 pm

        simonsez, a word that doesn’t exist is being used instead of a word that’s already in the English language which is the word “supposedly”. I think that’s what you mean. Are you saying that using a totally incorrect word or a word that doesn’t even exist is different than a word being used incorrectly?

    • Tyler -  November 3, 2016 - 9:36 am

      @simonsez, no, the “above sentence” was very clear in in its statement of what “it” was. The “it” in the sentence was referring to the word supposedly and I’m not quite sure how much more clear that could have been. The article states that people use supposably and supposedly where they should only be using supposedly.

  2. CUTE CATS -  April 25, 2016 - 11:45 am

    Well, time to change!!
    (Although I’m not happy about it)

    • Donald Trump -  May 3, 2016 - 10:42 pm


    • Sandra -  November 29, 2016 - 6:27 pm

      Time to change for what reason?! No! We can leave things the same. The correct word to use is SUPPOSEDLY! End of story! I can’t stand when people use the wrong words. I’ve even heard people use “supposively” which is totally wrong! We can’t just change a language at whim.

  3. Rocky Lauta -  April 17, 2016 - 6:30 pm

    I’m to curious when i have read the article. First, I not born from an English tongue and i may not good in English too. But i understand the way it is use in our country. Well, I’m from the Philippines. We Filipinos knows our Philippines English that’s why we are rated in the # 1 place in Business English. And what i got my attention is that “Supposedly and supposably” is the way around use in English nation. But let me share you that most of us use the word “Supposedtedly and supposed to be” which pertains to Supposedly. Today I learned that rather using that words. i will correct and use “Supposedly”. By the way, what do you preferred “effectively or effectivity”?

    • LOL -  April 27, 2016 - 1:09 am

      LOL. Yeah #1 place in business English according to what?
      Stating to be #1, post full of grammatical errors.

    • Huh -  April 27, 2016 - 7:58 am

      My eyes.

    • Jay -  April 29, 2016 - 7:35 am

      I think effectively would be best in most situations such as “He governed effectively” instead of “the effectivity of his governing was high”

    • John -  May 2, 2016 - 10:51 am

      What you just said there has nothing to do with this article. The article was talking about whether which was one was right.

    • Lydaris Vega -  August 3, 2016 - 3:44 pm


  4. Jeez -  April 8, 2016 - 6:17 pm

    We’re living in a world where “like” and “basically” are used reflexively. Grow up and stop speaking like a child

    • corinthuna -  April 14, 2016 - 9:15 am

      hi i am corinthuna and i say no

      • corinthuna -  April 14, 2016 - 9:16 am

        hi im corinthuna and i say dont talk like a baby

    • Ray -  June 30, 2016 - 5:11 am

      14: Like, yeah. 41: Basically, yes.

  5. Shannon Faye Watkins -  March 24, 2016 - 11:58 am

    Not a word we would use growing up around our Aunt, who would humiliate us by correcting our grammar.

    • Shannon Faye Watkins -  March 24, 2016 - 11:59 am

      P.S. She was English Professor.

    • Mark Rockliff -  April 6, 2016 - 8:40 pm

      I am thinking the work supposably can be used if the self expression is viewed as a form a abverb as an expression of an abverb the selfs own actualisation of its self image as a complete entity three force conches but in reconciled with the reconciliation force of having had made the law of three happen within. In other word the very expression of the egoic mind expressed in animation words is a supposably representation of the true self but is only part representation of self as the incomplete self.

      Self is in my mind kinda like an abverb and what we express is supposably a true representation of understanding and knowledge.

      This may help you to understand my meanning, I’m no scolar but this my input. Below:

      Yes the examples above, of Mal and Padma and Tom remind me of the self as a single (( one ring vibrating )) trying to be hole or seen to be hole or reach the full a wear state in the now unsuccessfully. But that said with a consideration that recognises that what they maybe expressing is of value I not saying there out there wrong on there own tangent, trying to convince just that there stressing a view in the now that is endeavouring to be convincing. Three pars trying to be four parts or one ring trying to be three rings. Even Russ has a bit of it going on when he is receiving dictation, the self seeks to create holiness or hopes or longs to partake within it in the now although he maybe receiving input from the Imposable object within, or experiencing the miraculous as he extends his teachings, it’s not always easy to comment correctly on another experience that they are experiencing. It’s kinda like splitting attention between being the explainer conveying a message about the explained and or the splitting of attention between being the explainer and presence that is being utilised to extend input in order to explain.

      The focus of splitting attention is an art that utilises the two NF functions at point nine in unison Fe-Ni and Ne-Fi as you can see there are four ingredients Fi and Fe and Ni and Ne, if they are not expressed in there correct coding for during the utilisation within the transaction then the individuals expression can seem strained or a little of key. Get it right and the power is palpable or amazing to witness because you are receptive to the expression of the the law of three in action within another.

      I would semester the correct order is Fi-Ne Ni-Fe as in a dual action utilising last and right brain in the now moment. The remaining 16 are utilised in the language of the Idea or concept being expressed outwardly/ communicated or thought within.

      It is posable to hear thought of some one who is alive with presence or to hear the thought of another while alive with presence, or even communicate or connect with an other over vast distances via the the aliveness of the inner energy of presence this is partly what is so miraculous about Presence, it is an action of a spiritual order intuition of a spiritual order.

      When we make the law of three happen within via sensing thinking and feeling we can manifest intuitions of a spiritual order, that is the miraculous the miraculous we are in search of, well at lest some of us are in search of reconnecting with this innate ability some people are fearful of this innate power and replace the any a weakness of with thinking that generates a form of self power that is beleave to be not fearful but confident and In control of that is normal supposably. Lol…”the self is kinda like an adverb in the now moment”, that’s funny in more ways than one.

      From Google: supposebly vs supposably.
      “Of course, supposably is technically a word—an adverb derived from supposable, which means capable of being supposed, which is significantly different from the meaning of supposed—but we can find no recent examples of the word used in this sense.”

      • tacomeat&aftershave -  April 26, 2016 - 11:34 am

        your opinion does not matter

      • Donut -  May 2, 2016 - 5:14 pm

        Does it bother anyone that this comment is longer than the entire article? Good job looking all of this up though.

      • AJ -  July 10, 2016 - 8:53 am

        “I am thinking the work supposably…”
        The very first sentence has a typo.. stopped reading.

  6. Max -  March 23, 2016 - 6:27 am

    I suppose I shouldn’t use supposably anymore. :(

    • RT -  March 23, 2016 - 9:54 pm

      Thank you for clearifing, I’m Fixin to skool some ken folk.

      • Yeah Right -  April 3, 2016 - 2:05 pm

        I wouldn’t be talking RT, your message indicates that you have no respect for grammar, yet you want to school others…Interesting…

        • Melanie -  April 5, 2016 - 2:18 pm

          Shall we discuss the definition of a joke and/or sarcasm next?

          • Hinotoumei -  April 6, 2016 - 9:12 am

            Spell Syllables
            Synonyms Examples Word Origin
            See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
            something said or done to provoke laughter or cause amusement, as a witticism, a short and amusing anecdote, or a prankish act:
            He tells very funny jokes. She played a joke on him.
            something that is amusing or ridiculous, especially because of being ludicrously inadequate or a sham; a thing, situation, or person laughed at rather than taken seriously; farce:
            Their pretense of generosity is a joke. An officer with no ability to command is a joke.
            a matter that need not be taken very seriously; trifling matter:
            The loss was no joke.
            something that does not present the expected challenge; something very easy:
            The test was a joke for the whole class.
            practical joke.
            verb (used without object), joked, joking.
            to speak or act in a playful or merry way:
            He was always joking with us.
            to say something in fun or teasing rather than in earnest; be facetious:
            He didn’t really mean it, he was only joking.
            verb (used with object), joked, joking.
            to subject to jokes; make fun of; tease.
            to obtain by joking:
            The comedian joked coins from the audience.

            [sahr-kaz-uh m]
            Spell Syllables
            Synonyms Examples Word Origin
            See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
            harsh or bitter derision or irony.
            a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark:
            a review full of sarcasms.

      • HK -  July 9, 2016 - 4:26 pm

        Best answer, yet. My kin need sum skoolin too. Im uh fixin to do it too.

  7. Nicole -  March 7, 2016 - 10:03 am

    Supposably is not a word, and it’s use indicates a remedial or ESL speaker.

    • John -  March 7, 2016 - 1:08 pm


    • Hmm... -  March 8, 2016 - 3:15 am

      (and supposably is a word)

    • Lachlan -  March 10, 2016 - 2:36 pm

      It is so a word you

    • Taylor Swift -  March 10, 2016 - 3:33 pm


      • Taylor Swift -  March 10, 2016 - 3:34 pm

        I mean no.

    • Nicholas -  March 19, 2016 - 8:01 pm

      It is used all the time in Miami and is even with associated with the Cubans there, I know in my high school everyone used it and it took energy to use ‘supposedly.’

    • James Wazenya, -  May 16, 2016 - 5:54 am

      I supposably recon that’s true and you supposedly believe it to be?.,WTF! punctuation do I use here?

  8. Taylor Swift -  March 3, 2016 - 2:21 pm

    Supposably is not a word. End of discussion. Call me at 234-456-7234 if you want my autograph.

    Thanks to all my fans!

    • R. Fisher -  March 6, 2016 - 3:30 pm

      Great! Literary insight from a marginally talented (but incessantly hyped) cutesy, pop music singer, who, by virtue of the fact that most of contemporary society is, at best culturally illiterate, is supposedly a talented singer; but, in actuality is supposably the quintessence of the consummately inept vocalist of mindless drivel.

      • Hmm... -  March 8, 2016 - 3:20 am

        The last two words in your post sums up your entire attempt at a supposedly intellectual comment.

        • jb -  March 9, 2016 - 2:31 am


      • manbear -  March 10, 2016 - 9:42 am

        you are so smart will you have my kids

        • manbear -  March 10, 2016 - 9:42 am

          anything for a fan

          • msinto -  April 27, 2016 - 7:10 am

            You’re replying to your own comment? Interesting.

      • Ella -  March 12, 2016 - 7:17 pm

        Bravo, R. Fisher!! It is so refreshing, or to be more exact, so pleasantly shocking, to read an online comment in which grammar, spelling, and proficiency with the written word is beyond reproach! How unfortunate that such a comment is seemingly so rare. Thanks for brightening my day, if only for a moment. ;-)

        • mkecheryl -  March 15, 2016 - 3:05 am

          ;) Actually, though, R. Fischer’s comment isn’t beyond reproach. There should be a comma after “best.”

          • Khan -  March 23, 2016 - 1:33 am

            Mkecheryl! I guess that the word “best” doesn’t requires any comma ( , ) if you’ve iterated the comment carefully according to the grammar….


      • ok lol -  April 22, 2016 - 4:11 pm

        That entire message is the epitome of pretentiousness. Can you maybe chill for like a sec and realize that “Taylor Swift” is not this person’s actual name and that you are a complete child for remarking the way you did? Although I’m glad that you’re using the vocabulary that took you 2 seconds to look up on this website I think everyone would appreciate it greatly if you took a minute to set aside your douchebaggery. Thanks.

        • msinto -  April 27, 2016 - 7:15 am

          Wow, OMG! I thought that was the REAL Swifty. Thanx so much for revealing that it’s not her.

          R. Fisher must feel like a real idiot now!

          BTW, I think “epitome” is pretentious.

    • datwundood -  March 8, 2016 - 8:25 am




    • Elizabeth -  March 29, 2016 - 10:27 am

      we are not stupidyou are not taylor swift

    • Donut -  May 2, 2016 - 5:17 pm

      You live in Ohio? Cool.

  9. Tomato Flower -  February 26, 2016 - 7:02 am

    The only person I ever heard use the term “supposably” was a person who has speech cluttering. It is one of many common terms that she mispronounces, like “avail-bill” for “available” and “Mass-chusis” for “Massachusetts.”

    • greenbayfappers -  February 26, 2016 - 12:24 pm

      Sounds like everyone from Boston.

    • ana carolina dyminski -  March 3, 2016 - 2:24 pm

      it can supposably be stated that many will always be supposedly ignorant of supposably.

  10. gobbledygook -  February 20, 2016 - 9:38 am

    I have never heard of the word supposably until now.

  11. Keith -  January 31, 2016 - 11:24 pm

    “Supposably”? I just won’t used it because it would be confused with “supposedly.” If I need to convey the meaning, I’ll just say “conceivably.”

    • Debra -  March 13, 2016 - 10:43 am

      Well put.

  12. Poseidon`s other son -  January 27, 2016 - 8:28 am

    I`ve always used both, I guess.

  13. Victor -  January 27, 2016 - 12:07 am

    People once supposed that little green men lived on Mars; so, anything is supposable!

    • travel diva -  January 29, 2016 - 7:13 am

      you are very funny. Your comment was spot on and it made me smile!

    • Donut -  May 2, 2016 - 5:22 pm

      Actually, the probability that any organisms on Mars are green is very low. Natural selection would make any reproducing organisms a shade of red, unless all of the other organisms are colorblind, in which case anything could happen. Also, supposably, little green men could live on Mars, given that they would have enough technology to evade our surveillance.

  14. imbroglio -  January 26, 2016 - 2:45 pm

    Considering the definition of suppose, supposedly should be more accurately stated as ‘in a hypothetical manner’ leading to the latter definition purportedly. I personally enjoy subposing but perhaps I’m archaic.

  15. Ginny Weasley -  December 11, 2015 - 5:41 am

    I’ve always used supposedly. :D

  16. Sheri -  October 17, 2015 - 12:23 pm

    Where I grew up (I love the visual that creates, as though I were a stalk of corn in a field), one might have said “I s’pose some of y’all made good points.” Or, “Mama, am I not s’posed to use supposedly and supposably interchangeably?” Mama- “Heck NO!”

    s’pose (spōz), verb
    nonstandard spelling of suppose, representing informal speech (Oxford Dictionary).

    However, one might hear it used like this – “Mama, now that my homework’s done, can I go out and play?”
    Mama- “I s’pose.” Or “I s’pose so.” or “I reckon that’d be fine.” – meaning an unenthusiastic or soft ‘yes’ or ‘I guess’.

  17. Marek -  October 15, 2015 - 12:20 pm

    I always assumed that “supposably” was an uninformed mispronunciation of “supposedly”. I now consider myself enlightened, at least in this small regard.
    My take on the difference:
    – “supposedly” means “it is supposed that”
    – “supposably” means “it could be supposed that” or “you are able to suppose that”
    There is no specific time sense to either word, except that “supposedly” is usually applied to an existing or widely accepted statement about something, and “supposably” is usually applied to something that could happen or has not yet happened.
    “Supposedly he got the job because of his good connections.”
    “Supposably he’d be more likely to get the job if he had better connections.”

    • Lori -  January 31, 2016 - 8:04 am

      In “Supposedly he got the job because of his good connections” would cast doubt that was the reason he got the job.

      • Lori -  January 31, 2016 - 8:17 am

        Oops, I didn’t need “In” there.

    • Heather -  February 18, 2016 - 7:35 pm

      “Supposedly” isn’t used for an accepted statement about something. On the contrary, as stated in the article, it is used to cast doubt about something. As Lori commented, the first sentence you gave as an example implies doubt that he got the job due to his connections.

      • Heather -  February 18, 2016 - 7:52 pm

        I apologize though because the article does define “supposedly” as meaning “what is accepted or believed to be true.” But it continues with synonyms “purportedly” and “seemingly” and to explain that its use is typically to convey doubt.
        And I meant to mention that I agree with Marek about being enlightened about this word. I, too, always assumed it was just someone incorrectly saying “supposedly” and didn’t actually exist as a real word in any way. Like someone saying the Specific Ocean instead of Pacific Ocean (although, I always hoped that was just a joke!).

      • Rachel -  April 27, 2016 - 1:50 pm

        As I understand it, the word “supposedly” is in fact used for an accepted statement about something, but it often is used to cast doubt on something. The reason it would cast doubt on something is because in particular cases, there is reason to doubt publicly accepted statements. Taking statements for granted is something a large group of people will often do.

  18. Gordon -  October 14, 2015 - 7:04 pm

    “Supposably” is only to be used by those with supposable thumbs

    • Heather -  February 18, 2016 - 7:29 pm

      That actually made me laugh!

  19. Lisa -  October 14, 2015 - 5:47 pm

    It’s supposedly

  20. Wordsmith Betsy -  October 14, 2015 - 10:56 am

    Kudos to all who follow and take these posts seriously. I, too, dislike the use of “supposably.” While I appreciate the explanations of its true meaning, I agree that in most cases, it is simply an incorrect word choice.

    As to Bart’s post: “I recognize that languages are living, changing things, not sclerotic lists of definitions.” I agree – and thank you for “sclerotic” (that one is new to me).

    It is because of the evolving nature of language that dictionaries and other references have to be updated periodically. But the fact that something is “in the dictionary” is no excuse for incorrect or inappropriate usage.

    As editor for an auditing firm, I was told by a colleague that I should not change something he wrote, because it was in the dictionary. “So is the ‘F’ word,” I replied, “but it won’t appear in anything published by this firm on MY watch.”

    • KarleneE -  December 20, 2015 - 7:59 am

      I love that “f-word” comment! That’s brilliant! I have done quite a bit of editing myself and I have been in polite but fairly heated conversations about content and quality of writing! So, that part of what you said resonates with me. I am no fan of “supposebly”, although, I did just learn that at least, it is in the dictionary. This means that I have also been ” enlightened” as Marek said. Supposedly, we are all supposed to accept “supposeably” in common use, however, it still sounds like someone is mispronouncing “supposedly” to me, so I think not.

      • Heather -  February 18, 2016 - 7:44 pm

        Although, I took the article to mean that using “supposably” interchangeably with “supposedly” would actually be incorrect. “Supposably” is used to mean “conceivably”, which is a different meaning. Thus, it would still be accurate to find it ridiculous for someone to say “supposably” instead of “supposedly”. Whew! That was a confusing amount of times to use those words so close together.

  21. Paul -  October 14, 2015 - 9:21 am

    Supposedly: “It is already supposed by someone”
    Supposably: “It could be supposed by someone”

    • Mark -  October 14, 2015 - 11:03 am

      Great way to remember it!!! Thanks Paul!!!

    • Hal -  October 14, 2015 - 1:51 pm

      EXCELLENT succinct explanation!

    • EnnCee -  October 14, 2015 - 3:05 pm

      going by word parts:

      “supposEDly” = imagined

      “supposABly” = ABLE to be imagined

    • Vee -  January 13, 2016 - 9:36 pm

      That is a great way to bring conclude this ponderous discussion. Thank you, Paul!!

      • Vee -  January 13, 2016 - 9:37 pm

        That is a great way to conclude this ponderous discussion. Thank you, Paul!!

    • still young still learning -  January 29, 2016 - 2:45 pm

      If “supposedly” “is” already supposed by someone and “supposably” “could” be supposed by someone, is it safe to say that supposedly that someone who is supposable is supposedly incorrect? ;-)

      For me it is “easier” to pronounce the word “supposably” rather than “supposedly” but that doesn’t make it correct for usage. ;-)

      I’ll work on my pronunciation. :-)

    • Lori -  January 31, 2016 - 8:11 am

      Supposedly: “Not very likely to be the case”
      Reread the article. You supposably misunderstood it.
      Ha-my computer underlined supposably as misspelled.

  22. Alice -  October 14, 2015 - 6:49 am

    I did not read all the comments; didn’t need to. One, because what I did read, you were making rude remarks about the word. First, let me say, I work the “corporate” world for over 50 years where I HAD to use correct English with all my “i’s” dotted and “t”‘s crossed. I to was trying to be perfect in the pronunciation of words. Then one day I woke to the fact that I’m not PERFECT and neither is anyone else. Secondly, I have a daughter who had a speech impediment growing up. Went to speech therapy for several years. With that being said, she uses the word SUPPOSABLY. I don’t care which one she uses because she gets the point across. Yes, I will admit we have screwed up the American Language but, who cares. Just be thankful you can speak regardless of how it comes out of your mouth.

    • bob -  October 14, 2015 - 2:56 pm

      good for you

    • Hal -  October 14, 2015 - 7:43 pm

      In re your: “Yes, I will admit we have screwed up the American Language but, who cares. Just be thankful you can speak regardless of how it comes out of your mouth.”

      With all due respect for your copiously involved, correct-language usage background; certainly the difficult condition with your daughter’s speech – perhaps even my oversight of an rhetorical nature of intent within your interrogatory-statement – “…we have screwed up the American Language but, who cares. “: My most lawfully accurate, and crucially necessary answer IS GIVEN HERE, in terms of our political existence TODAY: EVERYONE HAD BETTER BEGIN CARING – IMMEDIATELY, IF NOT SOONER!!! …

      IF George W. Bush issued any salient thought worthy of recall (albeit with his self-convicting usage of Holy God’s name in vain!) it was: “The Constitution is just a G_D DAMN piece of paper.” … And as long as answer to the statement ““…we have screwed up the American Language” is:”Who Cares?!?!” THEN that Document shall remain “… just a G_D DAMN piece of paper.” and these united States of America, for which that Document was so sedulously ordained to create their Lawful and legal governance, shall be DAMNED ALSO!!!! … ERGO: we now have, perhaps in excess of 60% ~ 70% of federal government under some convulsive transition into Islamist governance under Shariah law, but then: “who cares”!!!

      • Frederick geeka -  November 2, 2015 - 4:35 pm


      • G -  March 5, 2016 - 7:43 pm

        Everything after “Ergo” is nonsense.

        • Bonnie -  March 10, 2016 - 12:24 pm

          Agreed. What? Aside from saying, despite all of what you said, we should begin caring, and a couple quotes that comment made no argument.

  23. Austin Popper -  October 13, 2015 - 11:30 am

    I didn’t know until just now that supposably is a real word. That is supposably because I have never heard it used correctly.

    • Loretta Collins -  October 14, 2015 - 10:58 am

      I know! I always thought it was old-fashioned idiocy.

    • Mark -  October 14, 2015 - 11:10 am

      I was the same way Austin! I assumed it was always a mistake. But, as I was reading the article I stopped for a moment and entertained the idea that the word could have a real meaning. When I did that, its actual and useful meaning became obvious to me. Supposably, what a FABULOUS word! I just now had to train my spellchecker that this IS a correct spelling!!!

      And I LOVE Paul’s pithy explanation!!! :
      Supposedly: “It is already supposed by someone”
      Supposably: “It could be supposed by someone”

      Cheers from Omaha!

      • Heather -  February 18, 2016 - 7:57 pm

        Mark – I did the exact same thing as you described in your first paragraph! Sorry, just thought I’d share…

        • G -  March 5, 2016 - 7:45 pm

          “Exact same” is a redundant word combination.

    • EVE DAGDAG -  October 16, 2015 - 8:43 pm

      I agree.

  24. Nymn -  October 13, 2015 - 8:35 am

    We supposably need a word for such senses as “able to suppose” and “able to conceive,” along with similar ones that have been suggested. So it could be validly used. But there will always be ignorant people. They will use this word incorrectly, commit other grammatical and mental atrocities, only to deserve bathing in their own phenomenal filth continuously for life.

    • Acro -  October 14, 2015 - 11:51 pm

      The word for “able to conceive” is conceivably.

  25. Chris Luther -  October 12, 2015 - 8:59 pm

    No one using the word is using it in that sense. They are merely making a mistake.

    There’s a difference between the endings -able/ably and -ed. If I could suppose (assume, consider, believe, etc.) something, that thing might be “supposable”. If a thing is already meant to be taken as true regardless of fact, it is “supposed”.

    • cutter shefelbine -  January 27, 2016 - 10:14 am

      excusme but i use it

  26. ilikerandom -  October 12, 2015 - 5:41 pm

    I admit, I’m just going to stay neutral on this, though I am towards the supposedly side.

    I pat myself on the back for reading through those comments.
    Check out my random website about randomness at

    • j.w. -  October 14, 2015 - 10:03 am

      Thanks. I, too, read through them all, and believe that the discussion gets much more rancorous than is warranted. I used to have a friend who constantly would say “supposively” when he meant supposedly. I recognized that he meant supposedly and didn’t bother correcting his misuse or mispronunciation in the interest of expediting communication. I hadn’t realized supposably was even a word before I read this thread. Fascinating.

  27. Aslan -  October 12, 2015 - 4:37 pm

    I like words. Both can be and are wonderful, but the thing that makes one sound stupid is the person saying it.

    • Dawn J. -  October 13, 2015 - 11:57 am

      I wholeheart-ably and entire-ably acquiesce!!!

      • Daniel L -  October 14, 2015 - 12:58 pm

        I must admit that this is one of the best replies I have ever read!

      • NoName -  October 15, 2015 - 11:25 am

        This is contradictory, acquiesce implies reluctance..

        • Me -  April 6, 2016 - 2:01 am

          haha ;) agreed…but seriously – who uses the word ‘Supposably’…? it just sounds incorrect and even here when i type it has a wiggly line beneath it.
          So that kind of proves it…not really a word is it? :D
          ‘Supposedly’ sounds formal and knowledgeable and we all know that it is actually a real word so hey-ho!! lets just say that….(bleh)
          sorry for being so late to see this incred conversation :P

  28. r -  October 12, 2015 - 10:01 am


    • bob -  October 14, 2015 - 2:54 pm

      this is dictionary.com not a chat group

      • Me -  April 6, 2016 - 2:03 am

        So true!!!

  29. OED -  October 12, 2015 - 8:10 am

    “Supposably means supposable, ‘conceivable,’ or ‘arguably.’ It is only a valid word in American English; the British wisely refuse to accept it.
    —The Grammar Devotional

    “Of course, supposably is technically a word—an adverb derived from supposable, which means capable of being supposed, which is significantly different from the meaning of supposed—but we can find no recent examples of the word used in this sense.”
    —The Grammarist

    • The English teacher -  October 14, 2015 - 2:26 pm

      “Supposably means supposable, ‘conceivable,’ or ‘arguably.’ It is only a valid word in American English; the British wisely refuse to accept it.
      —The Grammar Devotional

      Indeed, the British are quite wise to refrain from using this word. They are not capable of conceiving or arguing anything. One must give them credit for recognizing this fact.

  30. Stefanie -  October 11, 2015 - 6:53 pm

    I hate the word “supposably”, and have always believed that it is “supposedly” being misused. At best, I would think that it is “antique”.

    • Sunny Indiana -  October 12, 2015 - 10:42 am

      Supposably intellect is applied in these discussions. Supposedly intellect is applied in these discussions… Both of these statements have totally different meanings and yet both make perfect sense, especially when juxtaposed for ironies sake! The statements complement one another rather humorously in their irony. i believe as a direct result of this forum i will strictly use supposably and supposedly only in conjunction! We Americans say what we want to say and laugh when people waste their thought processes in opposition or lauding “language purism…?” . Who cares. You on’t like the way i tawk, don’t tawk back, ya’ dig? haaaa

      • Amy -  October 15, 2015 - 1:09 am


  31. Stefanie -  October 11, 2015 - 6:49 pm

    I have always hated the use of the word supposably, and, assuming that it is not used often. I also hate it when people misuse the word “often” as off-ten.

    • EMerald -  October 12, 2015 - 11:09 am

      What do you mean, misuse as off-ten?

      • mikemotorbike -  October 13, 2015 - 9:10 am

        pronunciation is soft, not hard, according to dictionary.com:
        [aw-fuh n, of-uh n; awf-tuh n, of-]

      • Lori -  October 14, 2015 - 2:05 am

        It doesn’t appear that you received a reply from Stefanie regarding your question “What do you mean, misuse as off-ten?” I was just wondering if I had missed her/his reply or if your question remains unanswered? Reason I am asking is because I was wondering the same thing… what was meant by the original post.
        If I have merely overlooked the reply would you please let me know.

        Thank you in Advance,

        • Ken -  October 15, 2015 - 11:04 am

          When you take he word “soft” and add the suffix “-en” to you pronounce it “soff-ten”? Or do you pronounce it “soff-en”? The same applies to “oft” and “off-en”.

  32. Alain Rockwell -  October 11, 2015 - 12:13 pm

    As French-Canadian ‘supposably’ is the word that seems natural, respecting the regular word formation of most languages, and it’s… supposably why it’s gaining acceptance! Encountering ‘supposedly’ was somewhat mystifying to me, so I had to guess that it’s akin to ‘so-called’, that is, ‘so-supposed’… It still feels weird.

    This helps as a reminder: “It’s supposedly right but it’s supposably wrong.” [?]

    • Chris Luther -  October 12, 2015 - 9:01 pm

      If I were to use the word “supposable” or “supposably”, I would use it in reference to something that *could* be true (conceivable, believable, etc.). The word “supposedly” is used to refer to something that is intended to be taken as fact but that its validity as such is questionable.

      I wouldn’t use “supposable” or “supposably” at all, though, because there are already much better words for that meaning.

    • Tom Johnson -  October 13, 2015 - 12:24 pm

      I assume you’ve come to this realization belatably.

    • Sheri -  October 17, 2015 - 10:20 am


  33. casey -  October 10, 2015 - 6:56 pm

    Suposably belongs with with “nucular” and “ekcetera” . Erase them from spoken words!

    • Sunny Indiana -  October 12, 2015 - 10:11 am

      You can’t even spell. Why would you want to erase anything from language as all words and there metamorphosis are testament to the development of of our ever evolving speech.. That is the beauty of communication – talk and say what you want, how you want. At least on this great continent, anyway..

      • Jadzia -  October 14, 2015 - 8:21 am

        Sunny Indiana – Why do you say Casey cannot spell? There is absolutely nothing wrong with his/her post. Ironically, you post has a couple of mistakes. If you are going to criticise someone’s writing/spelling, you had better make sure yours is impeccable.

        • Jadzia -  October 14, 2015 - 8:23 am

          Correction to my own: “your post” not “you post” LOL

    • Bart -  October 12, 2015 - 4:17 pm

      Except that that is not the history of the word, judging from the article. It is not a mere mispronunciation.

  34. ali -  October 10, 2015 - 2:34 pm

    i,m not a native speaker but i think when we used supposedly ,we sought to respond to a propose while using from supposably always will encounters with a conceivable situation that we can,t think different from other people . in other word, supposedly always used in different situation but supposably used in a situation that all we can say maybe yes or not. another reason that you can use this adverb in different way is that supposedly is a meaning reaction against an idea , or state while supposably is a likely and Neutral action .
    tray to use always supposedly unless there was a situation that people likely take about a specific problem that affected all of them and this is a action or Neutral action.

  35. Lydia -  October 10, 2015 - 9:59 am

    I think supposably is simply American slang taking over the pronunciation of the word, like ex-presso instead of espresso. Also I notice supposably pops up as a misspelled version of supposedly.

  36. dori -  October 10, 2015 - 1:12 am

    as a language purist i hate it.

    • Bart -  October 12, 2015 - 4:19 pm

      I’m a language purist too, although I recognize that languages are living, changing things, not sclerotic lists of definitions. But if “supposably” has a distinct meaning from “supposedly”, namely “conceivably” vs. “allegedly”, then I have no problem with it. Open up your mind.

      • Russ -  October 14, 2015 - 6:39 am

        Bart, I agree 100%. However I fail to understand those here who appear to miss the simple distinction.

  37. Zacq Knight -  October 10, 2015 - 12:58 am

    Why is it that we are all taught not to laugh at others misfortune or at their expense, however, when we witness somebody trip and fall what is the first thing that we all do? This is a clear travesty of Human Behavior getting in the way of Human Nature, once again, making us all look bad for the sake of the few. Anyone that says “Supposedly” and/or “Supposably” are both making themselves an open target to be taken advantage of because stating either one of those words means that individual clearly is ignorant, by proof of each given definition, in many facets of life. I would love to hear someone use “Supposedly” and/or “Supposably” while defending their stand on how ‘Empirical’ evidence is just as good as having factual/actual physical evidence. I want to hear someone actually state that they believe everything that they think. I could write a book on this topic. The good news is that I am an Ethnographer by trade and moonlight as a stand up comedian professionally hitting all the major clubs nationally throughout the year….I am not going to let this GEM slip away. I will make sure to seriously make great use of this topic for successful comedy entertainment. I will put this with my humor on the usage of the word LITERALLY, Dictionary.com I give mad props to because they are the only dictionary (contemporary) that defines LITERALLY to mean just that, to mean what it means exactly without any adjustment whatsoever. All the other dictionaries have added an informal use for LITERALLY to also mean figuratively speaking, otherwise better know as not being literal. LITERALLY not has two definitions in most dictionaries and one means to be exact and the other means to be anything other than to be exact. White has just become to definition of black and black now ‘Supposably’ means white. Despite my opinion, my macbook computer believes that ‘Supposedly’ is perfectly as good to use as any other American English written word but when I type ‘Supposably’ it is displayed with a red line underlining that signifies spellcheck has passed judgement and has now officially taken a side. Hatfield and McCoy’s, rinse and repeat.

    One Proud Merkin’ (Go Merica!!!)

    • Bart -  October 12, 2015 - 4:20 pm

      You might want to watch that “Proud Merkin” stuff: a “merkin” is a wig for the pubic region.

    • Lauren -  October 14, 2015 - 6:26 am

      Nice and very inspirational!

  38. Me -  October 9, 2015 - 7:27 am

    Irregardless of it’s meaning, their’s never a time wear I would ever udder the word “supposably”.

    • Sheryl -  October 12, 2015 - 8:40 am

      I love your clever response!

    • I'm just a girl -  October 13, 2015 - 5:31 am

      you mean ‘there’s”

      • j.w. -  October 14, 2015 - 9:30 am

        don’t you mean “they’re’s”?

    • Jadzia -  October 14, 2015 - 8:25 am

      Good one!!!

    • Amy -  October 15, 2015 - 1:17 am


    • Andrea -  March 9, 2016 - 4:37 am

      Irregardless is not a word …

  39. aesop -  October 9, 2015 - 6:59 am

    Our language is going to hell in a handbasket. New words are required at times. Especially so when it comes to technological advances or new inventions. But for words to get a place in the dictionary because too many stupid people don’t KNOW the correct word is just plain sad. Anything can be and WILL be bastardized by fools.

    • Amy -  October 15, 2015 - 1:18 am

      Make it stop.LOL

  40. Zeffur -  October 9, 2015 - 12:44 am

    People are posta no better about how to say such things or axe how to say/rite them properly, rite?

    • Sunny Indiana -  October 12, 2015 - 10:17 am

      True dat

  41. Zeffur -  October 9, 2015 - 12:40 am

    puhsketti* see above ^^

  42. Geeg -  October 8, 2015 - 3:30 pm

    I was also surprised to learn that “supposably” is a real word. My spell-check wants to change it to, of course, supposedly.” Speaking of hated words, mine is “artisanal’ pronounced “ahr-tiz-uh-nl” with the emphasis on “tis.” It just makes me mad, I don’t know why!

  43. Sam -  October 8, 2015 - 9:24 am

    I think that the word supposably is often floccinaucinihilipilificated and should be used more often if people can use it corrected.

  44. elisabith -  October 7, 2015 - 6:18 pm


  45. Sethli -  October 7, 2015 - 5:35 pm

    Wow! I am amazed.

  46. rich -  October 7, 2015 - 6:28 am

    I supposedly disagree!

    • theepicbob -  October 7, 2015 - 4:15 pm

      I feel like i need to reply to this message so here i am!

    • Kaila -  October 7, 2015 - 4:37 pm

      I think that supposedly is correct in my opinion. I think that’s right.( But I didn’t read it all. ) I think that’s ok because I still think that supposedly is the correct grammar and not supposably

  47. Matt -  October 7, 2015 - 5:42 am

    Supposably is misspelled in the quote from 1845. Did anyone else notice this?

    • Tita -  October 7, 2015 - 11:06 am

      Yes, I definitely noticed the typo!

    • Kaila -  October 7, 2015 - 4:39 pm

      I didn’t notice until you pointed that out

    • Brad -  October 7, 2015 - 5:29 pm

      It was not misspelled. “Supposeably” is spelled correctly for 1845 British English. The author of the quoted book was Richard Winter Hamilton, the book was published in London and won an award in Manchester (both locations in Britain).

    • I Agree with u -  October 7, 2015 - 6:29 pm

      yeah man

    • Mike -  October 8, 2015 - 8:09 am

      It’s just a variant spelling. Retaining the “e” in a word with an added suffix was a common nineteenth century construction.

      I like this usage of supposably, but I think speakers will use it at their peril: it’s an obscure word whose difference from “supposedly” is too nuanced to clearly distinguish it in context, and listeners will mistake it for an incorrect usage of that more common word.

    • Lydia -  October 8, 2015 - 10:08 am

      I noticed the spelling, but just attributed it to the word being spelled differently at that time.

    • Elle -  October 9, 2015 - 5:08 pm

      It’s not misspelled if you were living during 1845. A words’ spelling has been changing since the beginning of written language.

    • happybunch6 -  October 11, 2015 - 10:30 am

      English language spelling changed from traditional Brit spelling (the example provided) to our current spelling in effort of colonial Americans to assert their independence. This carried as defined spelling was not introduced nationally until well into the 20th century.

    • Ten -  October 11, 2015 - 1:02 pm

      It might be that it’s a variant spelling–like “behaviour” vs “behavior”, “judgement” vs “judgment”–rather than being misspelled. Depending on where the quote’s taken from, spellings within the English language do vary.

      • mikemotorbike -  October 13, 2015 - 9:37 am

        behaviour: chiefly British

    • loveanimal8466 -  April 25, 2016 - 3:18 pm

      In the quote from 1845, supposably is misspelled. I was writing it right now and it had a red line under it, which indicates that it is misspelled.

  48. Nimmt -  October 6, 2015 - 7:10 pm

    I didn’t even know that “supposably” even existed, let alone that it is a word, let alone that people even used it.

    • elisabith -  October 7, 2015 - 6:15 pm

      im with nimmit

    • Sean -  October 11, 2015 - 1:57 pm

      same, Wait does it even exist?

  49. Shannon -  October 6, 2015 - 12:37 am

    I’ve always cringed when I heard someone using the word supposably. If it’s possible to actually hate a word… that is one that I hate laughably. Interestingly enough I didn’t even believe it was a word until I recently looked it up. Even after defining it though Webster’s and then seeing it here, I have no better understanding of it. Needless to say I will never be using it except (aha) to say that, ” I will never use the word supposably”. LOL

    • Ken -  October 6, 2015 - 9:39 pm

      Supposably should be used as a suppository. I’m with Shannon.

      • j.w. -  October 14, 2015 - 9:35 am


    • Be -  October 7, 2015 - 9:11 am

      I hear you. I hate the word functionality. Always seems like function would work.

      • Elidio -  October 7, 2015 - 6:53 pm

        i don’t think i’ve ever said supposably, and i’m with you on functionality vs function. what has been puzzling me lately is the difference between systematic and systemic. can anyone provide help, of do i have to finally look the two words up and figure it out myself?

      • Ross -  October 8, 2015 - 10:05 am

        I’m a programmer, so we use “function” and “functionality” periodically with distinctly different purposes. A function, for us, is the name of a block of code, and the functionality is what that code does.
        In my world, the functionality of something is a list of all of its functions, and its functions are relatively small, discrete things which it can do.
        I would say that a Golden Retriever has the separate functions: eat, wag tail, bark, sit, stay, etc. and that a Basset Hound has the same functionality but replacing bark with howl, and then maybe adding “track scent” … however, normal people (even your average programmer) probably wouldn’t speak about dogs like that.
        Oddly, I use “function” and “functionality” so regularly that it never really occurred to me how similar they really are until you pointed it out. I also use them so frequently that I had to rewrite the first sentence of this comment half a dozen times because I kept accidentally using one or the other of them in it.

      • James -  October 10, 2015 - 10:30 pm

        Function means “purpose, use, operate”, etc. It’s a noun that you use when you want to convey the “purpose, use, operation, etc.” of something. For example: “This ACME Z–9000X is a multi–function device: It can iron your shirt, can make and receive calls, and most importantly, it stands pretty as a bookend.”
        Functionality means “the degree of function of something, the practical use, the quality of how something operate”, etc. It’s also a noun, that you use when you want to convey “just how good (or bad) something when it is in function”. For example: “The ACME Z–9000X’s functionality is top–notch. It’s so energy efficient that it only uses 1 percent power than its competitors.” When you say “The ACME Z–9000X’s function is top–notch”, you mean that top–notch is the function, instead of the degree of its function.
        But yes, those 2 words are so similar and very easily confused and used interchangeably. Sorry for the long post. I just hope it’s clear now.

    • Roxanne -  October 8, 2015 - 8:46 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. The word is simply irritating. It sounds like someone made it up. Kind of like “irregardless”. Blah. That word give me the willies! :)

      I had not heard of “supposably” before either. In fact, my spell check is balking at it right now. It is recommending ‘supposed’, and ‘supposedly’. And rightly so. :)

    • Cindy -  October 9, 2015 - 9:09 am

      I recall a certain young man I used to date, who used that word, as well. He also referred to “a chest of drawers” as “chester drawers!!!”

      • mikemotorbike -  October 13, 2015 - 9:47 am

        Supposably/supposedly some people don’t even know what a ‘chest of drawers’ is.

      • SHAHID -  October 15, 2015 - 4:40 am

        Cindy, the particular man with whom you used to date spoke with some unusable words. In all languages even in my mother tongue, some people speak with some words which are not commonly seen. THESE ARE MAINLY SELF-MADE ! DO YOU AGREE WITH ME ?

    • Robert Wiegand -  October 11, 2015 - 10:15 pm

      I was raised with the word “supposedly,” so “supposably” has always sounded “artificial” to me. When I hear the word, I usually think the person is less educated than average.

  50. MIke -  October 5, 2015 - 5:04 am

    Now could you explain when to use affect vs. effect. I know the difference but can’t really explain it.

    • Cecil -  October 7, 2015 - 12:36 pm

      1st meaning of ‘affect’
      To affect = verb (to cause change)
      The effect = noun

      Ex: Not everyone who affects us can be described as effective (adjective). Their effect could be temporary or rather permanent.

      2nd meaning of ‘affect’
      Affection = noun (warmth, loving, embrace)

      My dog showers me with affection when I return home after a day’s work. I wish my wife did the same.


    • Kaila -  October 7, 2015 - 4:45 pm

      I know the word affect, but it suddenly started to stand out to me when you wrote that word just now

    • Jeanette -  October 7, 2015 - 7:09 pm

      If it’s a verb, it’s normally affect…your actions will affect your family. Effect is usually a noun…what effect will the medicine have on your illness.
      You may use effect as a verb…meaning to bring a change…but it’s not that common.

    • Eddy -  October 8, 2015 - 1:03 pm

      “Affect” is a verb used to describe a change in something after something else was done to do so. For example, “The constant rainfall really affected the growth of my plants.”

      “Effect” is a noun describing the actual event that occurs from something being “affected”. For example, “The constant rain had a drastic effect on the growth of my plants.”

      That make sense?

    • aesop -  October 9, 2015 - 7:37 am

      Affect is most often used as a verb. You AFFECT change. That change which you AFFECTED later shows up as the EFFECT of your change.

    • Stacey -  October 9, 2015 - 3:42 pm

      Affect is a verb. Effect is a noun.
      Hence, the following examples:
      He hopes his gift will affect her choice.
      He hopes his gift has the desired effect.

    • Terry -  October 10, 2015 - 4:19 pm

      Mike, you are only one person, but even by yourself I know you can effect great change in this world. Even if you only give $1 a day, you can affect the lives of millions of starving children.

      Does that help?

    • James -  October 10, 2015 - 10:42 pm

      If you know the difference already then why ask for explanation? XD
      Well here goes:
      Affect is a verb. It has evolved into “affection” for the noun form. Affect means “something that cause, the causal factor, etc.”
      Effect is a noun. It means “something, belonging, result of something, a change, etc.”
      Both are pronounced the same, that’s why the confusion is so widespread (“Altar” and “alter” anyone? LOL)

      As a rule of thumb:
      When something is the cause of something else, that something is Affecting the Effect. Or you can simply use the guide that “affect = cause”.

    • Itchy -  October 11, 2015 - 6:11 pm


      Put simply, affect is a verb, and effect is a noun:

      “The cold didn’t affect him.”

      “The cold had no effect on him.”

      In the first, affect is an action. In the second, it’s a thing.
      When you stick an -ive on the end, it’s a suffix that changes a noun into an adjective:

      The medicine wasn’t effective.

      Here, the medicine (a thing) had no effect (a thing).

      When they’re in the past, they mean something else:

      The law was finally effected.
      The movie was very affected.

      The first means put into action, the second often means superficial or feigned.

      These are the basics. Hope they’re effective, and you aren’t adversely affected. Or infected with ineffective affectations.

    • ilikerandom -  October 12, 2015 - 5:25 pm

      Affect is a verb
      Effect is a noun
      Easy saying to remember: Affect the effect
      or A before E

      Ugh… after staring at affect and effect, both words look weird, does that happen to you?

      Check out my random website about randomness at ilikerandomisepicness.weebly.com

  51. PAL -  September 28, 2015 - 12:59 pm

    Supposably, suffix is “Able,” meaning “able to suppose.”
    Supposedly, suffix is “D,” meaning “suppose in past.”

    Both of which being adverbs do to the suffix of “Ly.”

    You would use “supposably” for present and future tense verbs.
    You would use “supposedly” for past tense verbs.

    • I concur -  October 8, 2015 - 8:15 am

      I concur

    • R0nin -  October 8, 2015 - 6:22 pm

      That’s absolutely incorrect.

    • Roxanne -  October 8, 2015 - 8:49 pm

      A most excellent explanation. When in doubt, go to the root word.

      Now I will remember it. Thank you.

    • James -  October 10, 2015 - 10:14 pm

      What are you babbling about? First of all, they have nothing to do with past, present, or future. They’re not verbs! Only verbs have the past, present, and future forms. And what’s with that “D” explanation? It simply makes no sense at all. Second of all, the official explanation offers nothing at all like yours (unscrupulous) one. Please, stop soliciting absurd theory simply just because you think it’s right.

    • Christine -  October 12, 2015 - 5:07 am

      Forgive me, but I find it funny that you have so ably explained a portion of the meanings of the two indicated words, then misused the word “do”, which should be “due”. The pursuit, but not the achievement, of perfection. Which is the nature of the state of being human.

      • ilikerandom -  October 12, 2015 - 5:27 pm

        Wait, isn’t James correct with the usage of “do”? Doesn’t due mean like “This paper is due Monday” while do as “Let’s do this”

  52. Maryjane -  September 28, 2015 - 11:17 am

    It nice to know about

    • Kaila -  October 7, 2015 - 4:50 pm

      Hey the root word for both of the words are suppos isn’t that cool? But the original word would be suppose and definitely not suppos. If suppos was a word would make the words suppose and suppos sound the same?

  53. A Reader -  September 25, 2015 - 11:52 pm

    I am amazed to learn here that supposably is actually a word since I have been annoyed with others for using it in place of supposedly. Although I see the difference in use as explained, I doubt I will ever use it unless I supposably wish to annoy others just for the fun of it.

    • Sarah Kelly -  October 2, 2015 - 2:00 am

      Nice one!

  54. Jignesh Chokshi -  September 25, 2015 - 12:18 am

    Is it

    “Supposedly” = should have/had been (refers to event in past or with reference of past)

    “Supposably” = likely to be (may be in recent future)


    • Mark Sutton -  October 5, 2015 - 4:25 am

      I like the past/future references. Do you think it supposably follows that the root word “suppose” could be thought of as present tense? I suppose so.

      • elisabith -  October 7, 2015 - 6:17 pm


      • James -  October 10, 2015 - 11:09 pm

        “Suppose” IS a present tense verb. The past form is “supposed”, as in “At that time I simply supposed that she was just reckless, but I have come to realize now that she truly is a complete fool.”
        Don’t confused the past form “supposed” with the adjective “supposed”.
        The official explanation already gave a good clear distinction, but here’s an even simpler one:
        Supposedly —> “Seemingly” or “As can be inferred by the senses (notably the eyes)”, e.g., “You’re supposedly tired (as can be said by looking at your fatigued face)”.
        Supposeably —> “Acceptably”, e.g., “That reimbursement was supposably fair.”
        Both have no past, present, or future forms, and both can be used in the past, present, or future. It’s not the usage or “time frame” that differentiates them, but the meaning.

    • Shannon -  October 6, 2015 - 12:39 am

      OH I like that.

      • aesop -  October 9, 2015 - 7:03 am


    • Kaila -  October 7, 2015 - 4:51 pm

      Idk I never looked up the definition for supposably

    • Zeffur -  October 9, 2015 - 12:39 am

      No. Supposably is just wrong. It is typically how uneducated kids/adults mishear it & then misstate it. Here are a couple of other examples of uneducated speech: “Let me axe you a question.” or “Johnny was posta meet us at the park” or “Please pass the puhskett.”

      “axe” is supposed to be “ask”
      “posta” is supposed to be “supposed to”
      “puhskett” is supposed to be “spaghetti”

      • EssEffArr -  October 15, 2015 - 11:39 am

        Just unwilling to learn, huh? That was a false comparison if I’ve ever read one.

    • James -  October 10, 2015 - 10:49 pm

      Ummm I don’t think so. See below for more explanation for those interested.


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