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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    He feels bad/He feels badly

    I was puzzled to find in a dictionary that it is possible to say He feels badly. I've always known (and taught my students) that you can only use an adjective (bad) after feel. Am I wrong?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He feels bad/He feels badly

    "He feels badly" is grammatically possible but it doesn't mean the same as "He feels bad".

    "Bad" is an adjective. "Badly" is an adverb.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: He feels bad/He feels badly

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "He feels badly" is grammatically possible but it doesn't mean the same as "He feels bad".
    What does it mean then?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #4

    Re: He feels bad/He feels badly

    Click here.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: He feels bad/He feels badly

    Having read the above link, I think 'Someone feels badly for/about someone else/something' means 'Someone feels that someone else/something is bad', but I am not a teacher.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: He feels bad/He feels badly

    The fact is, people are using "I feel badly about that" to mean "I feel bad about that." I don't think we can reverse this one. Usage panels my still reject it, but language follows use and it's being used that way.

    Likewise, I've seen about 100 people say lately "I'm well" in response to "How are you?" It makes me crazy but I fully expect it to be accepted within a few years.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: He feels bad/He feels badly

    "Badly" is not being used that way in BrE (yet).

    Interestingly, I don't see a problem with "I'm well" as a response to "How are you?" "Well" is the opposite of "ill" so the person is saying they are healthy. The standard, polite and long-standing exchange in BrE is "How are you?" - "Very well, thank you". Here in the UK, when I hear "I'm good" as a response to "How are you?", I think two things: 1) There's another Americanism we've adopted; 2) Doesn't the person know that "good" doesn't mean the same as "well"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: He feels bad/He feels badly

    I accept both "I'm good" and "I'm well", but they have different meanings. I agree with ems that the latter can indicate health. The former usually refers to a general feeling of happiness/well-being.

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    #9

    Re: He feels bad/He feels badly

    1 -feels badly- in those 256 sentences on a reply here, some of them mean "feel rather guilty" - " feel I shouldn't have have done it.. regretful..." and they're followed by "about" or "that"

    2 feels badly where badly is an adverb; that would mean not an expert at the skill of feeling - bad at feeling... (!) I imagine that's not the meaning you wanted.
    3 look at emsr2d2 about "well and "good" I can back that up completely in BrE. I am well- that's exactly the correct British answer (unless you're ill) Good in British means Law-abiding.
    4 Badly ill- that's fine but seriously ill is much more the common phrase
    5 feel badly let down; now the badly connects to how let down you feel (how poorly treated) not to the feel.
    6 just for fun- in Yorkshire, the largest county in England, "I'm badly" means "I'm ill" . you can leave of the word ill. That of course is very non-standard English.

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    #10

    Re: He feels bad/He feels badly

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    1. "I went to my friend's party instead of my mother's birthday party. I now feel so bad." ( I have a guilty conscience.)

    2. "On TV I have just seen the suffering of many people in ____. I feel so bad for them. (I have great sympathy for them.)


    3. "Yesterday I broke all of my fingers. So now whenever I touch something, I feel it very badly." (If I closed my eyes, I would not be able to know what I was touching.)


    I think that it is accurate to say that in 99.99% of the cases, one should use "bad" after "feel."

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