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Hi all..

please explain me what is difference between first and firstly when we are using it with a verb..

first learn ............

firstly learn .........
New Member37
First and firstly

Examples:

a) A baby learns how to crawl first before it attempts to walk.

b) A baby goes through three procedures before it learns to walk. Firstly, it learns to crawl; secondly, it learns to hold on to something firm to stand upright; thirdly it learns to stand upright without support, and lastly it learns how to walk.
Full Member140
you said "first doesn't give a verb after itself" ?

an explamle.

"firstly, enter the button, then you will be surpised"

in this sentense, can first use instead of firstly without moving any object"
To hiperaktif,

Re: "First learn" and "firstly, learn".

Examples:

a) First learn how to pronounce the alphabets individually and then learn how to pronounce them together with a vowel.

b) To learn pronunciation you'll have to follow these steps. Firstly, learn to pronounce the alphabets individually; secondly, learn how to pronounce them together with a vowel; thirdly, learn how to pronounce three-letter words; fourthly,.............

Happy now??
Maybe this is a British/American distinction, but I'm not sure I've ever said "firstly" in my life! My dictionary does list "firstly," but it says it is equivalent to "first" in its adverbial usage. So I would say that at least in the U.S., you can forget about "firstly" and just use "first" as either an adjective or adverb.

Moderators - am I off base here?
Veteran Member6,432
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.....but I'm not sure I've ever said "firstly" in my life!

I am not surprised at all. I have never heard of "ball park estimates" in my life, yet today this "chic" expression was on an advert by an English Teaching Institute on Hong Kong TV.


..... off base

I wonder if Americans realise that "al-Qaeda" means "the base" in Arabic.
The word "firstly" seems to be coined by stylish parallelism. The Oxford English Dictionary says about this word as:

firstly, adv.

In the first place, before anything else, first. Used only in enumerating heads, topics, etc. in discourse; and many writers prefer first, even though closely followed by secondly, thirdly, etc.

The word is not in Johnson's Dictionary. B.H. Smart (1846) gave a comment on this word in the entry 'first': 'Some late authors use 'firstly' for the sake of its more accordant sound with secondly, thirdly, etc.'

paco
Senior Member4,095
Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Anonymous:
First and firstly are basically the same. You can use both for lists, and either where the other can go (except first place, and in the first place, etc- places where it is obvious that it has to be first). Many writers prefer using "first" though because the word "firstly" is a really old english word. The only thing with first and firstly is you HAVE to keep it parallel. If you start with first, you must use second, third, etc. If you start with firstly, you must use secondly, thirdly, etc. You can't mix and match them-- even just with first.
and both first and firstly are adverbs, so it's not grammatically incorrect to place one where the other is- even though it would sound really weird in some cases so it's not really a good idea to use it in those places-- you might even be able to use firstly in my "except" above: firstly place. but that would be REALLY weird/ probably not at all gramatically correct. Or pooooossibly it is, but don't use it because it's too weird.
And I got this from The American Dictionary of English Heritage:

"Either can be used to begin a list, or to introduce a series of questions or statements: I have two questions. First, do we need it? Second, can we afford it?; Firstly, we must have it. Secondly, we've got plenty of money. Whichever you choose, be consistent: first should be followed by second, third, firstly by secondly, thirdly, and so on".
KhoffMaybe this is a British/American distinction, but I'm not sure I've ever said "firstly" in my life! My dictionary does list "firstly," but it says it is equivalent to "first" in its adverbial usage. So I would say that at least in the U.S., you can forget about "firstly" and just use "first" as either an adjective or adverb.

Moderators - am I off base here?
I don't think it is just a British thing, i maybe wrong. I usually use 'firstly' instead of 'first'. That doesn't mean its correct, just a habit i think. To answer the question, 'first' and 'firstly' mean the exact same thing. I don't think it matters which you say.
Junior Member62
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