General Writing and Grammar Help/matter-of-factly


My understanding is "matter-of-factly" is an adverb.  Is the "sentence" below okay?  I'm asking because "word" underlines it as if it is incorrect.

,and he matter-of-factly said, "I saw her on .....

(Martha- I did not give you the full sentence.)


Well, =matter-of-factly= could be construed as an adverb, but it is VERY clumsy.  Word has given you a hint to question it, as you have done.

=Fact= is a noun.  

=Factly=, by itself, is not an adverb, just because =-ly= has been added.  

Actually, I question whether =factly= is even a word!


I would use =in a matter-of-fact manner/fashion/way=.  The hyphenated construction then modifies a noun.

OR, you could say:
He was matter-of-fact when he said....

OR, you could change the wording altogether, substituting =confidently= or a synonym:
He told her that..., speaking confidently, as if he knew the facts to be correct when she knew the facts were quite different.


Your inclination was correct that =matter-of-factly= is wrong.  As you know, you see all sorts of words used incorrectly!  Eventually, everyone think's (ha ha!) such usage/spelling is correct.

PS.  TV's is another of my favorites.  And 1980's.

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Martha Beth Lewis


I will answer questions having to do with grammar, plurals, punctuation, capitalization, mood, person, tense, and so on, as well as word usage and word choice. If you want a quick answer to a specific question, particularly if you wish to use formal American English for business or academic purposes (MLA), I can give you a timely response. I also can address word choice, clarity, structure, and similar concerns involving English as a second language. If you want advice of a deeper editorial nature (e.g., substantive [line] editing), please consult an Expert who offers this sort of assistance; I do not offer this sort of assistance.


I was employed as an editor for the graduate school at a major U.S. university and specialized in dissertations. I have over 200 publications in professional journals, consumer magazines, and newspapers. I am the author of five books and numerous syllabi in an arts field. I also am a freelance line editor, copy editor, and proofreader (over 40 years), and I have written or edited countless community organizations' newsletters and promotional materials.

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