I feel badly …

since I lost my fingers to frostbite.

But if my sense of touch is intact, it should be “I feel bad.”

In an effort to be correct, folks often mistakenly convey that their sense of touch is impaired rather than that they regret something.

The confusion arises because “feel” can serve as either an action verb or a linking verb, along with “to be,” “smell” and “taste.”

Action verbs convey an action and take an adverb (-ly). Linking verbs describe a state of being or emotion and take an adjective.

To check your usage, try replacing the word in question with the appropriate form of  “to be.” I am badly doesn’t work.


Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free estimate and sample edit!

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