Grammar geeks, you'll love this one! It's one of the things native English speakers know by use, but often they can't explain it because it doesn't fit with what they learned at school.
On June 18, I posted this Be The Editor grammar puzzle on my Facebook page, but no one tackled it.
In this blog post, you'll learn why adverbs and sense verbs don't get along!
We all grew up learning that adverbs modify or describe verbs and that the adverbs end in ly.
He jumped quickly.
I don't remember getting a lesson on different treatment of sense verbs, though, do you? And I lapped all of that stuff up, like a growing editor should. Here they are:
smell, feel, taste, touch, appear, seem, look
Sense verbs do not get ly adverbs. In fact, they don't get adverbs at all. Instead, an adjective is used, and the adjective modifies the subject, not the verb.
Cod liver oil smells terrible.
Instead of "The cod liver oil smells terribly," an adjective (terrible) is used to describe the oil.
They seem morose.
This sentence "I didn't know that hot dogs could taste this bad or that your brother cooks so bad" has two modifying words.
"Bad" is an adjective that correctly modifies hot dogs, instead of "badly" incorrectly modifying "taste."
"Bad" modifies "cooks"; however, "cook" isn't a sense verb so "bad" should be "badly."
Meet the Editor
I'm Coreen, and I am a copy editor, writer, instructor, digital marketer, and student of PR and Communications for organizations doing positive work in the world.