Luvi Silverberg
November 14, 2022

How to Spell Necessary


Necessary is a word that is often misused, which can be confusing for most writers. In this article, we'll go over the correct way to use necessary in your writing, from the different ways it can be used to its proper pronunciation and spelling.

necessary (adjective)

As an adjective, necessary modifies a noun. The noun is the subject of the sentence and must be in the same case as the adjective—for example, you can say “this apple is necessary” but not *“this apples are necessary.” This is because apples takes on an objective case here (it's plural) while necessary stays in its possessive form as an adjective modifying apples.

necessary (adverb)

NECESSARY (adjective and adverb)

  • Essential; required.

  • Necessary for a particular purpose: a necessary expense.

  • Required by law or custom; obligatory: a necessary trip to the post office; necessary forms to be filled out before applying for a loan at the bank.

  • Expected or required in order to deal with something successfully or effectively: You should invest in some waterproof boots if you want to do any camping this summer, because it's going to rain often during summertime at high altitudes where many campsites are located

necessary (noun)

  • necessary

  • a thing that is necessary

  • a thing that is necessary for a particular purpose

  • a thing that is essential or indispensable


It's the most common way to spell necessary. Necessary is the most commonly used word in English, which means that it's likely that you'll encounter this word often—and even if you're not sure about spelling it, knowing how to spell necessary can be helpful for communication.

That said, there are some variations on necessary that are also accepted by many writers and speakers. These include necessary's (which uses an apostrophe) and neccessary (with two esses). However, these alternatives aren't as common or widely accepted as necessary: they're usually only used when they're being used humorously or ironically. Even when they are used seriously, though—or simply because of habit—they may still be considered incorrect by editors who expect people to use traditional spelling rules whenever possible


So, the next time you have a question on whether to spell necessary with an “ie” or “y,” remember these things: