I feel badly or I feel bad?
Bad vs. Badly
Often I hear the word "badly" used incorrectly. For example, "I feel badly for him because he didn't make the cut". Most grammarians believe that this statement is incorrect. In this case bad is an adjective that we use with the linking verbs: feel, is, seems, looks, or appears.
To feel badly implies that your sense of touch is not right. When you are referring to a sense of touch, then badly is used as an adverb describing the verb to feel or touch.
The correct way to say the sentence is, "I feel bad for him because he didn't make the cut".
- I feel bad that I wasn't able to make the concert.
- The teacher felt bad that her student wasn't able to pass the exam.
- She burned her hands taking the pie out of the oven, and thus felt badly and couldn't distinguish between soft and rough.
- He damaged the nerve endings in an accident, and now feels badly. [He probably also feels (emotionally) bad.]
Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of American Usage's Take on Feel Bad vs. Feel Badly
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