Grudgingly and begrudgingly are constantly confused with each other because they seem so similar to each other. While their definitions are similar, they are very slightly different. It can be difficult to tell when to use which word.
Both adverbs, grudgingly and begrudgingly also have similar definitions. Grudgingly is when we show a lack of desire or resentment. Begrudgingly is a way to behave that is reluctant or envious.
Grudgingly refers to something that is being done unwillingly or with no desire. Something is being done, but the person doing it doesn’t actually want to be doing it.
He grudgingly admitted that he was wrong.
She grudgingly started working on her homework.
I accepted, grudgingly, that I would retire.
Half the team willingly agreed with the plan, and the other half grudgingly agreed.
Begrudgingly refers to something being done with a feeling of envy or resentment. It also refers to something that is being done reluctantly or unwillingly.
The delivery person begrudgingly agreed to offer their services to the new neighborhood.
We begrudgingly decided to order pizza because it was the only place open.
She begrudgingly admitted the decision she made was incorrect.
I begrudgingly attended the conference.
What is the opposite of begrudgingly?
The opposite of “begrudgingly” is “willingly”
I willingly attended the conference.
Can They Be Used Interchangeably?
Grudgingly and begrudgingly are considered to be synonyms for each other. With definitions as similar as these two words have, it is possible to use them in place of each other and the sentence will still make sense.
For example, she grudgingly took out the trash and she begrudgingly took out the trash mean the same thing. Both sentences mean that she didn’t want to take the trash out, but she did it anyway.
Which to Use
When you are trying to decide which word to use, think of how strong the feelings are. Begrudgingly is generally used when the feelings are stronger. For example, if there was a fight and someone very strongly did not want to do something, use begrudgingly.
In most cases, teenagers will begrudgingly do their chores because they very strongly do not want to do them.
Grudgingly is used when the feelings aren’t as strong. It will be used when someone still doesn’t want to do something, but they aren’t putting up a fight to get it done. For example, one might grudgingly get out of bed to go to work on a Monday. They don’t want to, but they do it just fine.