Main page content

bad, badly

Bad is the adjective, and badly is the adverb.

Use bad with linking verbs that express feeling, being, appearing or becoming:

  • Do you still feel bad, or do you feel better now?
  • Things are (or look) bad right now, but tomorrow is another day.
  • Chicken will go bad if it is not refrigerated.

Use badly with action verbs and their forms (participles, gerunds, infinitives):

  • The game went very badly for the home team after the second period.
  • She sings so badly, her friends always ask her to stop.
  • During the Depression, money was so badly needed, people sold their boots to buy food.
  • Spelling badly can prevent you from communicating clearly.
  • Matt knew he wouldn’t do well on his test, but he didn’t expect to do this badly.

Search by related themes

Want to learn more about a theme discussed on this page? Click on a link below to see all the pages on the Language Portal of Canada that relate to the theme you selected. The search results will be displayed in Language Navigator.

Date modified: