Bad vs. Badly

Why do we use 'bad' in some contexts and 'badly' in some others? Well, I'm here to answer your question. Come with me.

"Bad" vs. "Badly" in the English Grammar

What Is Their Main Difference?

Both of these words have the same meaning. However, they have different parts of speech. 'Bad' is mainly an adjective, whereas 'badly' is an adverb.

Differences

In formal English, 'bad' is an adjective. 'Bad' shows the terrible condition of something/someone. However, in informal, spoken English, native speakers tend to use 'bad' as an adverb of manner. Below, we have provided some examples for you:

Cruella has always been a bad girl.

Can't you think of something bad about her?

Warning!

Note that 'bad' can come both before a noun and after it, even after a linking verb. Look:

She feels bad right now.

'Badly' is an adverb of manner, indicating that something/someone is in a terrible condition. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Check out the following examples:

I can see she has performed badly.

The governor reacted badly when he was objected by one of the counsel members.

Similarities

They refer to the terrible condition of something/someone. Look:

How bad was your day?

I treated her badly.

Are They Interchangeable?

Although both have the same meanings, we cannot use them interchangeably. 'Bad' is an adjective, whereas, 'badly' is an adverb. Compare:

✓ Oh my God! How bad was it?

X Oh my God! How badly was it?

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