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  • Hi, guys. I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on "bad" vs "badly".

  • Now, this lesson is a complement to a past lesson that I did on "good" vs. "well". And

  • with "bad" vs. "badly", it's actually a very similar kind of case.

  • So very simply, first, let's look at the parts of speech that "bad" and "badly" represent.

  • As I have written here, "bad" is an adjective, which means that it describes either a state

  • of something or someone or a feeling, okay? So think of states and perceptions, feelings,

  • with "bad". "Badly" is an adverb. Now, again, an adverb

  • usually modifies a verb. It can also modify adjectives and other adverbs -- generally

  • verbs, though. And it describes how you do, how you perform, or how you react to something,

  • okay? On the board, I have a variety of different

  • sentences, and in all of them, you have to decide whether I should be using "bad" or

  • "badly" to complete the sentence. So as we go through this, just always use these two

  • definitions as a personal reference, okay? Sentence No. 1 says, "He felt bad/badly about

  • missing her birthday." So what do you think? "He felt badly about missing her birthday"

  • or "He felt bad about missing her birthday"? If we go back to the rules, if we're talking

  • about feelings, it's always "bad", okay? "He felt bad." Now, if I said, "He felt badly

  • about missing her birthday", this would mean that you're modifying the verb "felt", and

  • you're actually trying to say that he felt "badly", like his sense, his perception of

  • feeling, of touch, is very poor, which doesn't make the sentence make any sense, okay?

  • So second sentence says, "She did bad/badly on her chemistry exam." So let's look back

  • here. How you do/perform/react to something. Okay. How did she do on her chemistry exam?

  • "She did badly." She performed badly. Okay? "I twisted my ankle." Okay. How did you twist

  • your ankle? Well, really, really badly. Okay? So "bad" or "badly", actually. And I think

  • I gave you the answer, so -- how did she twist her ankle? The quality of the injury. "She

  • twisted it badly." When she twisted it in the moment of the action, it was really bad,

  • so she did it badly, she did the action badly, okay? Sorry. I'm repeating myself a lot. "Bad",

  • "badly" -- you will be sick of hearing these words by the end of this lesson.

  • Next one: "He is a bad singer" or "He is a badly singer"? Now, again, a singer, a person

  • who sings a song, [sings "lah lah lah"], etc., and we're talking about the state of this

  • person. What kind of singer is he? So we're modifying "singer", so "He is a bad singer."

  • Now, remember: "badly" -- there's no verb here that you're modifying, right? You can't

  • really modify the verb "to be" in this situation with "badly". You can't say, "He is badly"

  • just by itself, okay? So next one: "They felt bad" or "They felt

  • badly about coming late." If we go back to the rules -- feelings, right? So how do you

  • feel? You feel bad. Internal state. "They felt bad about coming late." So they came

  • to a meeting. They came to a party, a movie, something -- oh, sorry. I feel bad about that,

  • okay? Next one: "She danced bad" or "She danced

  • badly at her recital". So maybe she dances ballet, and they had a performance. A performance

  • is like a recital. And she danced -- you're talking about the quality of her dancing.

  • So how you perform something -- how you do something is, in this situation, "badly".

  • So how did she dance? "She danced badly." Now, "This tastes bad" or "This tastes badly"?

  • Now, what are we talking about here? Are we talking about -- "this", whatever it is, whether

  • it's a soup, a sandwich, a hamburger, a steak; doesn't matter. You're talking about the state

  • of the thing. You're talking about the flavor, the taste, the internal state, okay? So when

  • we go back here, "This tastes bad." Now, again, if we said, "This tastes badly", the meaning

  • would be that -- let's imagine it's a steak. So this means that the steak can eat other

  • things and that the steak tastes things badly, okay? It means that it doesn't have a sense

  • of taste, that the steak can't taste things very well because its tongue is not good,

  • okay? So you can imagine the image is not very appetizing I guess. I wouldn't want to

  • eat a steak that was talking. Although before it's a steak, it's a cow, but that's another

  • topic. Let's not get into that. And finally, "Their reasons didn't seem so

  • bad." Okay, so here, the topic, the subject, is their reasons, their reasons for doing

  • something. Now, we're talking about how the reasons did something? Are we talking about

  • the state of the reasons? The quality of them? Okay. In this situation, when you have verbs

  • like "seem" or "feel" or "appear", generally, we use the adjective form, okay? So "Their

  • reasons didn't seem so bad." We're talking about the state of their reasons.

  • Okay, guys. If you'd like to test your understanding of this material, and again, go through "bad",

  • "badly", do more examples like this, you can check out the quiz on And

  • I wish you guys luck. I hope that you don't do bad -- or badly? -- on the quiz. You tell

  • me which one is correct. And don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, as always.

  • Take care, guys. I'll see you later.

Hi, guys. I'm Alex. Thanks for clicking, and welcome to this lesson on "bad" vs "badly".

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A2 badly bad steak singer felt talking

Grammar: When to use "bad" and "badly" in English

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    青云 posted on 2014/04/06
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