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    #1

    Play fair?

    Isn't the expression "play fair" ungrammatical? Shouldn't it be "play fairly"? I'm guessing the reason "play fair" is so widely used is that it simply sounds better than "play fairly."

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: Play fair?

    Your guess is correct. Right or wrong, popular usage rules.

  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Play fair?

    I disagree, although I'm not 100% sure.
    As far as I know fairly has its own meaning.
    You can use it synonymical to pretty.
    I speak English pretty well.
    I speak English fairly well.


    I'm 90% sure that "Play fair" is fully okay...

    P.S: We all know that not every adverb needs an -ly

    **Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.**

    Cheers!

  2. euncu's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Play fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    You can use it synonymical to pretty.
    I speak English pretty well.
    I speak English fairly well.
    I think you confuse fairly as in being just with fairly as a statement of quantity.

  3. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Play fair?

    Hmm... one of my dictionaries says that fair is both an adjective and an adverb:
    dict.cc | fair | Wrterbuch Englisch-Deutsch
    (And the German version of fair is adv and adj.)

    But maybe they stick to the fair because it sounds better, as already said...
    Same as "play badly" -> you will not hear it as often as "play bad", I guess.

    Off-topic: Cool new avatar

    Cheers!

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    #6

    Re: Play fair?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post

    But maybe they stick to the fair because it sounds better, as already said...
    Same as "play badly" -> you will not hear it as often as "play bad", I guess.

    Off-topic: Cool new avatar
    Thanks. Change is always good.

    By the way, as I know it; play fair X play dirty

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    #7

    Re: Play fair?

    'Fair' is given as an adverb in some dictionaries:
    Main Entry: fair
    Function: adverb
    Date: before 12th century
    1 : in a fair manner <play fair>
    2 chiefly British : fairly 3 <fair makes you want to cry>
    Fair - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    ADVERB:
    In a proper or legal manner: playing fair.
    Directly; straight: a blow caught fair in the stomach. (AHD)
    fair - Dictionary definition and pronunciation - Yahoo! Education

  5. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Play fair?

    To me and perhaps other North Americans, "play fair" also sounds correct because it makes us think of "play while being fair" or some such copula.

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