English word of the day: RIGHTFULLY

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Hi students! Today’s word of the day is another adverb, and it is rightfully. Let’s try saying it – RIGHT-ful-ly. Three syllables with the stress on the first one. Rightfully.

The word rightfully is used when we are talking about what is proper and legitimate and fair. If you plant an apple tree on your property and you do all the work of caring for the tree over many years, then the apples it produces are rightfully yours – it is correct that they belong to you.

Rightfully is often used in this sense, when talking about possessions that legitimately belong to someone. Most places have laws against stealing – one person can’t just take something that rightfully belongs to someone else.

Another example that’s sometimes in the news is when talking about ancient cultural objects that were taken from one country without permission and put in a museum in another country – the first country asks for those objects back because they rightfully belong to their country of origin.

But we can use rightfully for more than just possessions; we can also use it to say that, in our opinion (or in lots of people’s opinions), something is proper and legitimate. This can be an emotion – if I insult you, then you would be angry, and rightfully so – that means it is proper for you to be angry, it makes sense, because I insulted you, so your anger is justified. You’re rightfully angry. Or if my son starts getting bad grades in school, I would be rightfully concerned – there is a legitimate reason for my concern.

It could also describe an action that is fair and proper – if my colleague works really hard, harder than anyone else on the team, then she would get rightfully promoted. It is proper and fair that she gets a higher position and salary, because of her hard work.

OK? So the adverb rightfully describes something that is proper, legitimate, and fair. This can be a possession, an emotion, or an action. Go ahead and try to use this word in a sentence, so that you can have another example and remember what it means. That’s all for today – bye for now!


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