Don't you love it when someone asks you a question you can answer? I think there's something very rewarding about knowing something and being able to share that information with someone else. Like the other day when one of my sons queried, "How many tablespoons are in a cup?" and I was able to answer "16" without batting an eye.
In that very same way, I love it when readers ask me a question about English grammar. It makes me happy to be able to answer someone's question, to have knowledge that I can share.
This week's question: how to use bad and badly. Oh, boy.
The answer is actually pretty simple, but these words get misused so often that many people believe that the incorrect usage is correct.
Bad is an adjective, so it's used to modify nouns or pronouns. Badly is an adverb, so it's used to modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.
- That's a bad paint job. (bad modifies job, a noun)
- He did that very badly. (badly modifies did, a verb)
- I feel so bad. I have a terrible headache.
- That family's house burned down. I feel really bad for them.
- I didn't get a chance to read your post; I feel bad that I missed it.