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Second vs. Secondly: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on November 2, 2023
'Second' is a numerical position or a brief time period; 'secondly' is an adverb used to introduce the second point or step in a sequence.

Key Differences

The word 'second' refers to the ordinal form of the number two, indicating the position after first. In contrast, 'secondly' is an adverb used to introduce the second item in a list or argument.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023
'Second' can also denote a very brief period of time, specifically one-sixtieth of a minute. 'Secondly' has no temporal meaning and is exclusively used to denote sequence in written or spoken discourse.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023
In measurement, 'second' might refer to a unit of time or angle. 'Secondly' does not pertain to measurement but serves as a transitional signal in language, helping to organize thoughts or points.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023
'Second' can also function as a verb, meaning to support or formally endorse someone or something. 'Secondly' cannot be a verb; it does not imply action but rather order within communication.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 02, 2023
A 'second' can also be a person who comes next in a duel or boxing match to assist. 'Secondly' would never be used in this context, as it does not refer to people but to the order of information.
Harlon Moss
Nov 02, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Noun, adjective, verb
Adverb
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Function

Indicates order, measures time/angle, supports
Introduces the second point in sequence
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Usage in Time

Yes (time unit)
No
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Usage in Sequence

Yes (ordinal number)
Yes (adverbial sequence connector)
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Verbal Usage

Can be used as a verb ("to second")
No verbal usage
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023
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Second and Secondly Definitions

Second

A unit of time, 1/60 of a minute.
Just give me a second to explain.
Sara Rehman
Nov 02, 2023

Secondly

Introducing the second point or reason.
Secondly, we must consider the environmental impact.
Huma Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Second

Immediately following the first in order.
She finished the race in second place.
Huma Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Secondly

Serving as the second element in a sequence.
Firstly, collect the data; secondly, analyze it.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Second

A person who assists in a duel or boxing corner.
His second rushed into the ring to check on him.
Janet White
Nov 02, 2023

Secondly

As a subsequent point in an argument.
Secondly, our research contradicts these findings.
Janet White
Nov 02, 2023

Second

To endorse or support a proposal or motion.
I second the motion for a recess.
Harlon Moss
Nov 02, 2023

Secondly

Coming next after the first in a written or spoken series.
I would like to point out, secondly, that we need more volunteers.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Second

Another chance given.
He was grateful for a second chance at the interview.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Secondly

In the second place in order or rank.
Secondly, the issue of funding cannot be ignored.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Second

A unit of time equal to one sixtieth of a minute.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 20, 2022

Secondly

In the second place; second.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 20, 2022

Second

The time needed for a cesium-133 atom to perform 9,192,631,770 complete oscillations. See Table at measurement.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 20, 2022

FAQs

Can 'second' refer to support in a debate?

Yes, to 'second' a motion means to support it.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Is 'secondly' proper grammar?

Yes, 'secondly' is proper grammar when listing points.
Huma Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Does 'secondly' imply a hierarchy?

'Secondly' implies an order but not necessarily a hierarchy.
Sara Rehman
Nov 02, 2023

Is 'secondly' necessary in a list?

'Secondly' is not mandatory but helps clarify sequence.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Can 'secondly' be used without 'firstly'?

It can be, but it's less common and might seem awkward.
Harlon Moss
Nov 02, 2023

Is 'second' used in sports?

Yes, 'second' can denote position, as in coming in second place.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 02, 2023

Can 'second' be used as an adverb?

No, 'second' is not typically used as an adverb.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Can 'second' indicate more than time?

Yes, 'second' can refer to order or an assistant in a duel.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

What does 'a second' mean in casual speech?

It usually means a brief moment.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 02, 2023

Can 'secondly' be used in formal writing?

Yes, 'secondly' is often used in formal writing.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 02, 2023

Is 'second' ever used in the context of music?

Yes, it can refer to the second beat or a musical interval.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Is 'secondly' only used in writing?

No, it's used in both speech and writing.
Janet White
Nov 02, 2023

What is a 'second hand'?

It refers to the hand that measures seconds on a clock.
Sara Rehman
Nov 02, 2023

How do you pronounce 'second'?

It is pronounced as 'SEK-und'.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 02, 2023

Can 'second' mean another opportunity?

Yes, it can mean another chance to do something.
Harlon Moss
Nov 02, 2023

Does 'secondly' have synonyms?

Yes, synonyms include 'next' or 'then'.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Can 'secondly' be used in all types of essays?

Yes, but its use may vary depending on style guides.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Does 'second' have a plural form?

Yes, 'seconds' can refer to multiple units of time or multiple positions.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 02, 2023

Can 'secondly' be used in the beginning of a sentence?

Yes, 'secondly' can start a sentence when listing points.
Sara Rehman
Nov 02, 2023

Can 'secondly' be replaced with 'second'?

In adverbial use, 'second' is less formal but generally acceptable.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 02, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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