"How do you live faithfully or with faithfulness?" This is a question on my ESL class and I have no idea on how to answer it.

  • 3
    Is there any other context to this question?
    – amblina
    Jul 13, 2015 at 10:50
  • 3
    Grammatically, they're both valid, but faithfully is idiomatically more likely. It's a slightly odd example for me (I can only dimly imagine what it's supposed to mean), so I suggest comparing Federer plays gracefully and He plays with gracefulness where both are "credible", but the preposition-based version would be much more likely as He plays with grace. There's usually a simpler alternative to the somewhat clunky -fulness "double suffix". If it's an ESL question, I think there a bad teacher/coursebook involved. Jul 13, 2015 at 12:11
  • 4
    One can move quickly or move with speed, so the adverbial meaning is possible in both forms. There is no real semantic distinction between them. However, you are likely to find "with faithfulness" only in homiletic and quasi-homiletic (life-help) contexts.
    – TimR
    Jul 13, 2015 at 12:58
  • I think you live faithfully or in faithfulness, not with faithfulness. There's no difference in meaning.
    – Khan
    Jul 13, 2015 at 20:24

1 Answer 1


In practice, they mean the same thing. This is a ridiculous question. (Not yours...the one on your test.)

Use "live faithfully", as that is the common use. "Live with faithfulness" could work fine, but nobody talks like that.

To adapt from TRomano's comment, it is analogous to saying:

Move quickly.

Move with quickness.

Both mean the same thing, but no native English speaker would say "Move with quickness".

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