For some people English grammar is a dark forest where they can get lost. For the others it is a meadow without obstacles. This relates to foreigners as well as to native English speakers. Even phrases used in writing and everyday conversations are exposed to mistakes. The question is “How well do people know correct use of linking verbs followed by adjectives and adverbs?”
In order to answer the question above an interesting investigation was carried out. The task was simplest and shortest: “Which do you think is correct? A) I feel bad. B) I feel badly.” Just after classes I went swimming and there I got answers from my coach and a boy, who was swimming on my lane. Later, walking around campus and I was able to survey more respondents of different age and nationality. Particularly, I asked a dorm advisor and five more friends. I memorized the answers and later put them on paper. Second part of my research consisted of browsing the web. To get some statistics I searched these phrases with COCA and Google. The last part was sharing the results in class and getting the whole picture of results.
The outcome was quite predictable. In terms of correct answers, personal results were the same expected. 80% were right, like I supposed and 20% were for both. As for class results, they were close as well - there were 76% right while the hypothesis was 82%. Though answer “both” was not offered, 7% answered with it. According to COCA there are 382 searches for the correct one and 39 for incorrect. Google showed 182 million correct searches against 4 million of incorrect.
Surprisingly, both phrases are searched together and most top headings started with the question of their correct use.
Personally I knew the correct answer to say but I thought they really could be both correct. In fact, “badly” is used, although very rarely. Usually, students think more time and consider all choices. Older people tend to give a correct...