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Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

bad, badly

Bad is the adjective, and badly is the adverb.

Use bad with linking verbs that express feeling, being, appearing or becoming:

  • Do you still feel bad, or do you feel better now?
  • Things are (or look) bad right now, but tomorrow is another day.
  • Chicken will go bad if it is not refrigerated.

Use badly with action verbs and their forms (participles, gerunds, infinitives):

  • The game went very badly for the home team after the second period.
  • She sings so badly, her friends always ask her to stop.
  • During the Depression, money was so badly needed, people sold their boots to buy food.
  • Spelling badly can prevent you from communicating clearly.
  • Matt knew he wouldn’t do well on his test, but he didn’t expect to do this badly.