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    #1

    Act weird/weirdly: behave weird / weirdly [adjective vs adverb]?

    Hello everybody

    I'm a little confused. Should we use adjectives or adverbs after behave/act?
    Which one is more idiomatic?
    To act so weird
    To act weirdly

    To behave impolite
    To behave impolitely

    I would be glad if you could give me your opinion. Thank you.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Act weird/weirdly: behave weird / weirdly [adjective vs adverb]?

    Grammatically, you should use the adverbs. But you will see and hear "weird" after those verbs.

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    #3

    Re: Act weird/weirdly: behave weird / weirdly [adjective vs adverb]?

    Thank you.

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    #4

    Re: Act weird/weirdly: behave weird / weirdly [adjective vs adverb]?

    There is no need to write a new post just to say "Thank you". It makes us think there is new information or a follow-up question and we spend time opening the thread. Simply click on the "Thank" button at the bottom left-hand corner of any post you find helpful. It saves everybody's time.

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    #5

    Re: Act weird/weirdly: behave weird / weirdly [adjective vs adverb]?

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

    Hello, Keramus:

    You have already received the answer.

    I am replying only because I have found some information that may interest you.

    The verb "act" has always driven me crazy, too, so I have collected the opinions of various people. I am delighted to share a few.

    *****

    1. "The [indigenous people] acted friendly.

    a. My source tells me that we can think of "friendly" as an adjective in such a sentence.

    i. It means that they seemed/were friendly. [As you know, "seem" and "were" are linking verbs.]

    b. The source says that the same applies to "He acted silly."

    i. But we cannot say, "He behaved silly/stupid."

    Authority: Robert M. Gorrell, Watch Your Language.

    2. One netizen who seems very knowledgeable says this:

    a. "Act" is frequently treated as a linking verb.

    i. It is similar to "seem."

    (a) "He acts (as if he were) smart."

    Source: A netizen named "CalifJim" at a grammar helpline called englishforums.

    3. "Act" is often a linking verb -- according to another authority.

    a. In this sense, it means to pretend to be something.

    i. "Stop acting innocent."
    ii. "If anybody asks, act dumb."

    Authority: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary.

    4. Finally, one scholar gets very upset when people say, "Act natural."

    a. He says that such a sentence is a "pure Germanism." He adds: "Though in common use by Americans, [it is] recognized as slang."

    I have made up this dialogue that I think would please that scholar.

    Mona: I hear that you have a job interview today.

    Raul: Yes, and I'm very, very nervous.

    Mona: Don't be nervous. Just act naturally, and they will hire you.

    Authority: Michael Dummett, Grammar & Style for examination candidates and others (1993).
    Last edited by TheParser; 25-Oct-2015 at 10:58.

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