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The word "unfortunately" is an adverb that we use when an action or a situation is not good, or we feel sorry that something has happened. It’s often used as a transition when going from one sentence to another:

  • Lewis would like to stay home today; unfortunately, he has to go to work.
  • Helen is a great worker, and she’s very enthusiastic about what she does. Unfortunately, the company she works for has to lay her off because business is down.
  • There are, unfortunately, very few days left for us to be together.
  • We need to get a new refrigerator. Unfortunately, we can’t afford it right now.
  • Pedro was going to go to the park and play baseball with his friends, but unfortunately it’s raining.

He wants to go to school today; unfortunately, he’s sick.

If you drop the "ly" ending, this word becomes an adjective:

  • This is a very unfortunate situation.
  • It’s unfortunate that they can’t come to our party.
  • Donna had a very unfortunate accident and lost some of her vision.
  • We heard about the fire. How unfortunate!

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This page was first published on January 30, 2012.



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