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Bearly vs. Barely — Which is Correct Spelling?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on March 18, 2024
"Bearly" is an incorrect spelling, while "Barely" is the correct form meaning "only just; scarcely."
Bearly vs. Barely — Which is Correct Spelling?

Which is correct: Bearly or Barely

How to spell Barely?


Incorrect Spelling


Correct Spelling

Key Differences

Consider the phrase "bare minimum." "Barely" means just above the minimum or threshold.
Recite: "I barely made it in time." The frequent repetition can help reinforce the correct spelling.
Remember "Barely" as being "bare" plus "ly." Imagine something almost "bare" or minimal.
Visualize someone barely making it over a hurdle. There's no "bear" jumping that hurdle.
"Bearly" sounds like it has to do with bears, but it doesn't. Avoid the "bear" trap!

How Do You Spell Barely Correctly?

Incorrect: We have bearly started, and already there is a problem.
Correct: We have barely started, and already there is a problem.
Incorrect: There was bearly any food left at the party.
Correct: There was barely any food left at the party.
Incorrect: She was bearly able to keep her eyes open during the meeting.
Correct: She was barely able to keep her eyes open during the meeting.
Incorrect: I could bearly hear what he was saying over the noise.
Correct: I could barely hear what he was saying over the noise.
Incorrect: He finished his task bearly before the deadline.
Correct: He finished his task barely before the deadline.

Barely Definitions

Only just; scarcely.
He could barely see through the fog.
Almost not.
I was so tired I could barely stand.
By a narrow scope or range.
We barely spoke during the meeting.
With a minimal margin.
She barely passed the exam.
Only just; almost not
A barely perceptible pause
She nodded, barely able to speak
In a simple and sparse way
Their barely furnished house
Openly; explicitly.
By a very little; hardly
Could barely see the road in the fog.
In a scanty manner; sparsely
A barely furnished room.
(degree) By a small margin.
(degree) Almost not at all.
The plane is so far away now I can barely see it.
Yes, it is barely visible.
(archaic) merely.
Without covering; nakedly.
Without concealment or disguise.
Merely; only.
R. For now his son is duke.W. Barely in title, not in revenue.
But just; without any excess; with nothing to spare (of quantity, time, etc.); hence, scarcely; hardly; as, there was barely enough for all; he barely escaped.
By a small margin;
They could barely hear the speaker
We hardly knew them
Just missed being hit
Had scarcely rung the bell when the door flew open
Would have scarce arrived before she would have found some excuse to leave
In a sparse or scanty way;
A barely furnished room

Barely Meaning in a Sentence

The movie had barely started when the power went out.
He was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open.
I was so hungry, but there was barely anything to eat.
I could barely see the path in the dark.
There was barely enough room for everyone in the elevator.
They barely spoke to each other the whole evening.
The music was so loud, we could barely hear ourselves think.
They barely noticed the time passing as they talked.
She barely passed the final exam.
The sun had barely risen when they set out on their journey.
She barely had time to grab her coat before leaving.
The room was barely big enough to fit a bed.
She barely made it to the train on time.
He barely managed to catch the falling glass.
We arrived just in time, barely catching the last bus.
The child barely reached his father's waist in height.
They barely had a moment to themselves during the busy event.
He had barely finished his sentence when she interrupted.
The team barely won the game with a last-minute goal.
She could barely contain her excitement.
She was barely aware of her surroundings, lost in thought.
I had barely stepped outside when it started to rain.
The budget barely covers our basic expenses.
The surface of the lake was so still, it was barely moving.
He had barely any energy left after the marathon.

Barely Idioms & Phrases

Barely the time to breathe

Very busy or rushed.
I've been so busy today, I've barely had time to breathe.

Barely a moment's notice

Very little warning.
We had to leave at barely a moment's notice.

Barely stand it

To tolerate something with difficulty.
The pain was so intense, he could barely stand it.

Barely a murmur

Very little noise or protest.
The controversial decision passed with barely a murmur.

Barely lift a finger

To do very little or nothing to help.
He barely lifted a finger during the entire project.

Barely make ends meet

To have just enough money to cover basic expenses.
After the pay cut, they could barely make ends meet.

Barely a whisper

Very quiet or soft sound.
The room was so quiet you could hear barely a whisper.

Barely batting an eye

Showing no surprise or emotion.
She heard the news and barely batted an eye.

Barely scratch the surface

To investigate or treat something superficially.
We've only just begun; we've barely scratched the surface.

Barely there

Minimal or hardly noticeable.
Her makeup was so natural, it was barely there.

Barely hold back

Struggling to restrain oneself.
She barely held back her tears during the speech.

Barely on the radar

Not fully noticed or considered important.
At that time, the issue was barely on the radar.

Barely a hair's breadth away

Extremely close.
The ball was barely a hair's breadth away from going in.

Barely a stone's throw

Very close distance.
Her new place is barely a stone's throw from her work.

Barely get a word in

Difficult to contribute to a conversation.
He talked so much, I could barely get a word in.

Barely a blink

Happening very quickly.
Everything changed in barely a blink.

Barely touch the sides

Not sufficient to satisfy a need or appetite.
The meal was so small, it barely touched the sides.

Barely keep afloat

Struggling to manage or survive.
They were barely keeping afloat after the financial setback.

Barely turn around

Having very little space.
The room was so cramped we could barely turn around.

Barely warmed up

Not fully prepared or just beginning.
By the time we had to leave, I had barely warmed up.

Common Curiosities

Which vowel is used before Barely?

The vowel "a" is used.

What is the verb form of Barely?

"Barely" is an adverb and doesn't have a verb form.

What is the root word of Barely?

The root word is "bare."

Why is it called Barely?

Derived from "bare," it signifies minimalism or scarcely.

What is the pronunciation of Barely?

"Barely" is pronounced as /ˈbɛərli/.

Which conjunction is used with Barely?

"Barely" can be paired with conjunctions like "when" (e.g., "barely had I entered when the phone rang").

Which article is used with Barely?

"Barely" doesn't typically require an article.

Is Barely a negative or positive word?

Neutral, but context might give it a negative or positive connotation.

What is the plural form of Barely?

"Barely" doesn't have a plural form.

What is the singular form of Barely?

"Barely" is an adverb and doesn't have singular or plural forms.

Is Barely a noun or adjective?

"Barely" is an adverb.

Which preposition is used with Barely?

Various prepositions can be used depending on context, e.g., "barely above," "barely under."

What part of speech is Barely?


Is Barely a vowel or consonant?

"Barely" is a word, not a letter. It contains both vowels and consonants.

Is the word “Barely” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

Neither, "barely" is an adverb.

Is Barely a countable noun?

"Barely" is not a noun, so it's not countable.

Is the word Barely is Gerund?

No, "barely" is not a gerund.

What is another term for Barely?


What is the opposite of Barely?


Which determiner is used with Barely?

Determiners aren't typically used directly with "barely."

How is Barely used in a sentence?

"She barely finished her work on time."

Is Barely an adverb?

Yes, "barely" is an adverb.

Is Barely an abstract noun?

No, "barely" is not an abstract noun.

Is Barely a collective noun?

No, "barely" is not a collective noun.

Is the Barely term a metaphor?

No, but it can be used metaphorically.

Is the word Barely is imperative?

No, "barely" is not imperative.

How many syllables are in Barely?

Two syllables.

How do we divide Barely into syllables?


What is a stressed syllable in Barely?

The first syllable "bare" is stressed.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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