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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 127
    #1

    so bad/so badly

    I got a dilemma with choosing the right form in a sentence.

    1. I wanted it so badly (we can often hear in everyday conversation)
    It seems to me that this is grammatically correct as we use an adverb and we answer the question: How badly did you want it?

    2. Then I typed: I screwed up so bad into google and amazingly got many entries.
    Can someone tell me where's the difference? Is #2 more colloquial?



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    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #2

    Re: so bad/so badly

    Badly is an adverb and correct grammatically.

    Bad is an adjective and although it is in common use it's wrong.


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
    • Posts: 127
    #3

    Re: so bad/so badly

    Quote Originally Posted by jamiep View Post
    Badly is an adverb and correct grammatically.

    Bad is an adjective and although it is in common use it's wrong.

    Yes, but why do people use "bad" sometimes and I mean native speakers.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #4

    Re: so bad/so badly

    Quote Originally Posted by besthost View Post
    I got a dilemma with choosing the right form in a sentence.

    1. I wanted it so badly (we can often hear in everyday conversation)
    It seems to me that this is grammatically correct as we use an adverb and we answer the question: How badly did you want it?

    2. Then I typed: I screwed up so bad into google and amazingly got many entries.
    Can someone tell me where's the difference? Is #2 more colloquial?

    The only difference is that 'bad' as an adverb is nonstandard. Nonstandard does not mean incorrect or wrong. That's an incorrect assumption to make.

    Casual speech often uses certain "adjective" forms as adverbs.

    Results 1 - 10 of about 12,400 English pages for "wants it badly".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 42,100 English pages for "wants it bad".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 295,000 English pages for "want it bad".

    Results 1 - 10 of about 144,000 English pages for "want it badly".


    M-W:

    Main Entry:
    3bad
    Function:
    adverb
    Date:
    1681

    : badly <not doing so bad> <doesn't want it bad enough>
    Encarta:
    adverb
    Definition:

    1. badly: in an unsatisfactory manner
    We didn't do too bad.

    2. very much: to an intense or extreme degree
    He's got it bad!

    [13th century. Perhaps < Old English bǣddel "effeminate man"]
    Last edited by riverkid; 09-Mar-2008 at 23:12.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #5

    Re: so bad/so badly

    I have a dilemma...

    Why are you learning English? If it is to chat on the Internet, then yes, grammar becomes irrelevant, and you need only the highly restricted vocabulary of an 8 year old. You will not be required to articulate thoughts and feelings, other than to say you think something is 'kewl', 'awesome' or 'it sucks'.
    However, if you are wishing to advance yourself in a career - and particularly in business, science, education, or the hospitality industry - you will have little credibility with any prospective employer - nor much respect from those with whom you would come into contact!
    Having said that, native speaks often relax grammatical rules, and might even speak ungrammatically for effect. You have picked up the important distinction, Besthost, which is knowing what is the correct grammar in a sentence', and then noting when native speakers relax the rules. If in doubt, always use correct grammar.
    Last edited by David L.; 09-Mar-2008 at 21:27.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #6

    Re: so bad/so badly

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    I have a dilemma...

    Why are you learning English? If it is to chat on the internet, then yes, grammar becomes irrelevant, and you need only the highly restricted vocabulary of an 8 year old. You will not be required to articulate thoughts and feelings other than to say, 'kewl', 'awesome' and 'it sucks'.
    However, if you are wishing to advance yourself in a career - and particular in business, science, education, or the hospitality trade - you will have little credance with any future employer.
    You do indeed have a dilemma, David. You seem to have a terribly skewed idea of what constitutes grammar. It doesn't at all resemble that of language science.

    Why should ESLs be satisfied with simplistic responses like, "It's wrong/incorrect. You should/must do this and that". How could answers like these help them function successfully in all the social registers of English?

    The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language

    The aspects of some prescriptive works that we have discussed illustrate ways in which those works let their users down. Where being ungrammatical is confused with merely being informal there is a danger that the student of English will not be taught how to speak in a normal informal way, but will sound stilted and unnatural, like an inexpert reader reading something out of a book.

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