Bad vs Badly

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What’s the difference between them?

Bad

Meaning:

adjective - of poor quality; unpleasant or undesirable

Examples:

1. I had a bad day at work today.

2. She made a bad decision to quit her job.

3. This is bad news for our team.

Badly

Meaning:

adverb: in a poor or improper manner; not well.

Examples:

1. He was badly injured in the accident.

2. We need the report urgently, so please finish it as quickly as possible - it's not looking good if we submit it badly.

3. I'm afraid the food was cooked badly and it was completely inedible.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

Bad

1. Negative

2. Deficient

3. Substandard

4. Unfavorable

5. Inferior

1. Good

2. Excellent

3. Beneficial

4. Advantageous

5. Favorable

Badly

1. Awfully

2. Terribly

3. Poorly

4. Inadequately

5. Desperately

1. Well

2. Excellently

3. Superbly

4. Admirably

5. Flawlessly

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Bad", "Badly".

1. 'Bad' is an adjective, which means it is used to describe a noun. 'Badly' is an adverb, which means it is used to describe a verb.

2. A helpful mnemonic for remembering this distinction is: 'Bad' describes the noun; 'Badly' describes the verb.

3. When using 'bad' and 'badly' in writing, pay attention to the surrounding words to determine the correct usage.

4. If the word in question is modifying a verb, then it is 'badly'. For example: 'I drove badly.'

5. If the word is modifying a noun, then it is 'bad'. For example: 'I had a bad experience.'

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

Learn the difference

Frequently asked questions

When should the word 'bad' be used?

The word 'bad' should be used to describe something that is of poor quality, unpleasant, or undesirable. It is commonly used to describe things such as food, weather, or a person's behavior.

When is the appropriate context for using the word 'badly'?

The word 'badly' should be used to describe something that was done in a poor or improper manner, or was not done well. It is commonly used when describing someone's performance or behavior, or the results of an action.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the words 'bad' and 'badly' do not share the same pronunciation. The word 'bad' is pronounced /bæd/, while the word 'badly' is pronounced /bædli/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One of the most common mistakes people make when using these words is to interchangeably use them. 'Bad' should be used as an adjective, and 'badly' should be used as an adverb. Another common mistake is not pronouncing the words correctly.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. She felt really __________ when she realized she had forgotten her keys.

2. The weather turned __________, so they had to cancel the outdoor picnic.

3. He performed __________ on the exam because he hadnt studied enough.

4. Despite feeling __________, she insisted on going to work.

5. His handwriting is so __________ that its hard to read his notes.

6. The movie was so __________ that many people walked out of the theat

1. She felt really bad when she realized she had forgotten her keys.

Explanation: Bad is used here to describe her emotional state, indicating that she felt upset or distressed.

2. The weather turned bad, so they had to cancel the outdoor picnic.

Explanation: Bad describes the unfavorable or unpleasant weather conditions.

3. He performed badly on the exam because he hadnt studied enough.

Explanation: Badly is an adverb used to describe how he performed, indicating poor performance.

4. Despite feeling bad, she insisted on going to work.

Explanation: Bad is used to describe her emotional state, suggesting that she felt unwell or upset.

5. His handwriting is so bad that its hard to read his notes.

Explanation: Bad is used to describe the poor quality of his handwriting.

6. The movie was so bad that many people walked out of the theater.

Explanation: Bad describes the low quality of the movie, indicating it was not enjoyable.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.