“Duly” is an archaic adverb that allows you to express that something has been done “properly” or “in the correct way”. We often see non-native speakers (and native speakers!) habitually use the phrase “duly noted” as a “professional” or “sophisticated” way to confirm an action, or to underscore that something was done properly. Unfortunately, “duly” does not render you more qualified or your text more stylish. In almost all cases, using “duly” only adds redundancy and ambiguity.
In this article, we are going to show you when and how to remove “duly” so that you can avoid:
- Appearing inexperienced or naïve
- Coming across as over-eager or hyper-vigilant
- Sounding pompous
Basically, we’re going to help you sound like a normal person. We’ll focus on cases of redundancy and ambiguity and help you identify more concise and accurate alternatives.
Often from context, we can presume or understand that an action was done or will be done properly or correctly (we’re all professionals!). In these cases, just remove “duly” and keep the verb or use another, similar one.
INSTEAD OF THIS
|We duly note that you will make test purchases.||We note / confirm that you will make test purchases.|
|We duly note your instructions.||We note / confirm your instructions.|
|We duly note that you are still waiting for the internal business unit review of this request.||We note / confirm / understand that you are still waiting for the internal business unit review of this request.|
|We duly note your appointment on April 2, 2021.||We note / confirm your appointment on April 2, 2021.|
|We duly noted that the Customs Watch has been renewed until May 29, 2020.||We noted / confirmed that the Customs Watch has been renewed until May 29, 2020.|
|To represent your client before the IPO we need a scanned copy of the POA duly executed by your client.|
To represent your client before the IPO we need a scanned copy of the executed POA.*
*Here we remove “by your client” because it is implied through context.
|The company affairs administrator returned the scanned copy of the duly signed declaration.||The company affairs administrator returned the scanned copy of the signed declaration.|
|The IP Court was considering whether importing goods bearing a duly registered insignia is IP infringement.||The IP Court was considering whether importing goods bearing a registered insignia is IP infringement.|
*To note = more formal
To confirm = plain English (we recommend this option)
“Duly” is also problematic because it is ambiguous (almost all archaic terms are). Always aim to use a modern and accurate adverb if you must use one. Generally speaking, you can replace “duly” with “properly,” “correctly,” “accurately,” “timely,” etc.
In these examples, you want to emphasize or indicate that something was done or not done properly or correctly.
INSTEAD OF THIS
|It might have happened that the first C&D letter was not duly delivered to the infringer.||It might have happened that the first C&D letter was not properly / timely delivered to the infringer.|
|If the client has evidence that the letter was duly delivered to the infringer, we recommend filing an infringement action against the seller of the counterfeit products.||If the client has evidence that the letter was properly / timely delivered to the infringer, we recommend filing an infringement action against the seller of the counterfeit products.|
|We received confirmation that the application was duly filed.|
We received confirmation that the application was accurately / timely / properly filed.
We confirm your instructions. The request will be duly submitted.
We confirm your instructions. The request will be timely submitted. (passive, formal)
We confirm your instructions and will submit the request on time. (active, modern)*
It is always better to use the active voice when you are taking responsibility for something. This shows a higher level of professionalism and duty.
And there you have it. Always remove or replace “duly” for a more modern tone and to relay more concise and accurate information. If you need assistance or have questions, comment below or get in touch. If this was helpful, you may be interested in participating in our business English course or writing workshop.