Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Grammar Done Right!: When to use Bad/Badly and Well/Good

Karen Reddick was my podcast guest earlier this summer and she gave some great tips for editing books. She has a blog, book, and newsletter that I enjoy. Below is a typical example of the emails she sends her subscribers. I find it very useful and thought you might like to sign up to have her send it to you as well.

Hi, Yvonne,

There's a lot of confusion on when to use bad vs. badly and when to use well vs. good.

Try to remember that bad and good are adjectives (they modify a noun).


After the two-day conference, Sam [noun] looked bad [adjective].
Susan [noun], on the other hand, looked good [adjective].
I [noun] feel bad [adjective].
The cookies [noun] taste bad [adjective].

And badly and well are adverbs (modify a verb or describes an activity).

Sam ran [verb] the race badly [adverb].
Sam did [verb] well [adverb] on his presentation.
Susan sang [verb] well [adverb] at the opening ceremonies.
Susan sang [verb] badly [adverb] at the opening ceremonies.

Happy Writing!-- Karen Reddick, The Red Pen Editor

Get tips like these an many others in the book version of Grammar Done Right! 2nd Edition available at http://www.grammardoneright.com/
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1 comment:

Diki said...

Interesting text. You have a nice blog. Keep it up!