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.

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