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  1. #1
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    Default adding ly to the end of words

    I guess I want to know about when to use “ly”. For instance, I’ve heard people say “Don’t take it personally” and some have said, “ Don’t take it personal”. Which one is correct. Also, when do I say different and differently?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: adding ly to the end of words

    Hi, and welcome aboard

    Much of the confusion regarding the use of adjectives vs. adverbs (i.e. different vs differently) comes from the fact that the user/speaker is unable to distinguish what the word modifies

    Consider this example:

    The fish tastes different/differently today

    Remember that adverbs (such as differently) modify verbs, while adjectives (such as different) modify nouns. In the example above, if you use an adverb, the sentence becomes:

    The fist tastes differently today

    Although not ungrammatical, it is semantically weird, since it means "the fish uses its sense of taste in a very weird way", or something like that!

    Instead, The fish tastes different today makes use of the adjective (different) to modify fish, which is what we're really after here.

    So, back to "don't take it personally/personal", although "Don't take it personal" is used (124.000 hits in Google), the correct way to say it is "Don't take it personally". Personally modifies the verb take.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: adding ly to the end of words

    Quote Originally Posted by Studentlearner View Post
    I guess I want to know about when to use “ly”. For instance, I’ve heard people say “Don’t take it personally” and some have said, “ Don’t take it personal”. Which one is correct. Also, when do I say different and differently?
    I agree with Mariner's response.

    There are a number of cases in which NES use an adjective where an adverb is required. In many of these cases, it is just a mistake, as Mariner has pointed out. In some cases, such as this one, I suspect that the speaker intends an adjectival meaning, i.e., he intends "personal" to refer to "it" as a personal matter. Thus, it may be an unconscious ellipsis of "Don't take it (to be) personal". That said, most people will still consider that use to be an error. The adverb is better.

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