How do "simply" and "simple" differ in meaning?
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“Simply” is an adverb; it modifies verbs, adjectives, etc. “Simple” is an adjective; it modifies nouns. In normal speech, the signifier “simply” is used to mean “without excess” or “without complication” and is a way for the speaker to indicate that the speech or act referred to is without guile, without any complicated subtext: “This dessert is simply delicious” would mean that the speaker is giving the dessert his/her unqualified approval, without any other descriptors (sweet, tart, crispy, etc.). “Simple” as an adjective refers to the state or condition of an object or act: “It comes with simple directions.” The word “simple” also is sometimes used to refer to a person’s mental capacity, as a criticism: “Don’t take him seriously; he is simple.” In Shakespeare’s Sonnet 138, the line, “Simply I credit her false speaking tongue:” means that the speaker is taking her utterance at face value, naively (some “translations use ‘foolishly’), without assigning any duplicitous motives to his love.
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