Main Difference – Bad vs Badly
Bad and badly have similar meanings. Yet the grammatical functions of these words are different. The main difference between bad and badly is that bad is an adjective whereas badly is an adverb.
Bad – Meaning and Usage
Bad is an adjective. It is the opposite of good. Bad basically refers to something of low or poor quality. In addition, it has a multitude of negative meanings such as unpleasant, adverse, unfavorable, harmful, immoral, polluted, etc. Since bad is an adjective, it can be used in the attributive position as well as the predicative position. You can observe these characteristics in the following examples.
I feel bad about deceiving her.
Bad men will come to take you away.
He is bad at singing.
The film got lots of bad reviews.
I have bad news for you.
Bad diet is one of the main causes of malnutrition.
Smoking is bad for your health.
She smells bad.
This is a bad time to call her; she must be busy.
In American English, bad is also used informally as an adverb.
For example, he beat her up real bad.
This is mostly used in speech and should not be used in writing. The adverb of bad is badly.
Badly – Meaning and Usage
Badly, as mentioned above, is the adverb of bad. It described the manner in which something happened or was done. The meaning of the word also changes slightly. Badly can be used to refer to an unsatisfactory, inadequate or unsuccessful way. It can also be used to emphasize the seriousness or intensity of an event or action. You can observe these meanings in the following sentences.
This place is badly managed.
He wanted to buy a house badly.
I realize I was behaving very badly.
Don’t think so badly of them.
Everything was badly damaged by fire.
India played very badly this year.
The event was so badly organized that there was a shortage of food.
The loan sharks beat him really badly.
Your decision reflects badly on us.
The couple badly wanted a baby.
Difference Between Bad and Badly
Bad is an adjective.
Badly is an adverb.
Bad can refer to unpleasant, adverse, unfavorable, harmful, immoral, polluted, diseased, etc.
Badly refers to an unsatisfactory, inadequate or unsuccessful way. It also emphasizes the seriousness or intensity of an event.
Bad describes a noun.
Badly describes an action or state.