This question is not about definition, but about usage.

According to Babylon dictionary the definition of readily is: "readily. adv. with pleasure, willingly, eagerly" see here: http://dictionary.babylon.com/english/

My question is whether "readily" is used by native speakers as an answer for someone who makes a request in spoken English.

For example:

Q: "Can I use your phone please for a moment?"

A: "Yes, readily"

I know the definition of readily, I am asking whether this is appropriate usage.

  • 2
    Did you check a dictionary definition?
    – user3169
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 3:41
  • I'm not sure where the example is from, but the grammar is not used correctly.
    – White Fang
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 3:44
  • 1
    Your question is a bit off. Do you mean Can you please give me a glass of water? which, by the way, is probably not as usual or practical as Could you please get me a glass of water? The could softens the request. And most people aren't going to be holding a glass of water that they can give you; most of the time a person will have to get (obtain) a glass of water from some source. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 3:48
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    @user3169, in fact, this question was asked because what I saw in the dictionary. In my language I can use the same meaning for such answer, but the English language is not parallel to my language. I'm telling you it after a lot of mistakes that I did in the past when I tried to speak English by using my 'sense' of my language. English has its own way. Something that can be seem very simple to you as a native English speaker can be sometimes very difficult for me or other non-native English speakers. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 3:50
  • 1
    This question should be reopened. It is not about "spelling, meaning or pronunciation." It is about usage or pragmatics and even notional functional issues. I.e., do native speakers use such-and-such word as an answer to a request? Few if any dictionaries will address this issue. @ColleenV et al. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 10:14

2 Answers 2


While grammatically correct, "readily" is not usually used as a response to a question like that. It would be better replaced with something like "gladly".

It is more commonly used when talking about someone or something else.
For example

Guest phones are readily available

He readily loaned Bob his cell phone.


Readily: Without hesitation or reluctance; willingly.

-Without delay or difficulty; easily.

I believe these definitions should answer your question; maybe google the definition of the word and examine the different contexts it can be used in before asking on here.

To me, this site is for questions that cannot be answered with a simple google search, but that is the correct use of "readily". It sounds a bit wonky, and is not something that would normally be said, but is still used in the right context.

  • 1
    @Wyatt isn't directly answering their question as well as hinting at the fact that they can simply google their answer, because maybe they didn't know it was possible, a better idea? Maybe the one who asked this question simply does not know how to effectively google search something like this, because it involves grammar, and not spelling?
    – White Fang
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 3:53
  • @White First, welcome to ELL. Second, please see meta.ell.stackexchange.com/questions/439/… Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 3:58
  • Aa far as I can see, that meta post is concerning what the question poser should follow, not a cite rule or even concerning someone answering that question.
    – White Fang
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 4:05
  • Then +1 for this answer, now that the question has been edited. Readily is acceptable, but not all that common, and indeed it sounds a bit wonky (although I'm not sure Assiduous knows what that means. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 4:06
  • @White we are trying to encourage better questions, especially from repeat users such as Assiduous. Because, frankly, when such repeat users ask questions that show very little effort, I won't readily answer such questions. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 4:08

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