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Earthly and Earthy

Commonly Confused Words

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The adjective earthly means relating to the earth or to life on earth. Earthly also means possible or conceivable.

The adjective earthy means resembling soil, or unrefined, natural, simple.

Examples:

  • For many years Oliver lived without any hope of an earthly reward.

  • What earthly reason could Lawrence have for killing Colonel Protheroe?

  • Rain doesn't smell, but before a rain there may be a musty or earthy odor in the air.

  • Agnes had blond hair, blue eyes, and an earthy sense of humor.

Practice:

(a) Chalk is a soft, fine-grained rock with an _____ texture.

(b) No one has yet shown that life of any kind other than _____ life exists in the cosmos.


Answers to Practice Exercises

Glossary of Usage: Index of Commonly Confused Words

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