Sleep bad/ badly

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by rominachus, Mar 25, 2010.

  1. rominachus Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish
    Esta bien dicho "I slept badly or bad at night? Teniendo en cuenta que el adverbio modifica al verbo, iria badly?

    Gracias.
     
  2. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    I slept badly last night. ....badly is an adverb modifying the verb sleep.

    I had a bad sleep last night. ....bad is an adjective modifying the noun sleep. (sleep as a noun is correct but unusual English)

    I would also recommend "I have been sleeping badly at night." or "I sleep badly at night."
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  3. ForsMiner Senior Member

    English - US
    To be correct grammatically, one should say "I slept badly." But in colloquial speech "I slept bad" is acceptable. (In reality, few people would ever say "I slept badly.")
     
  4. Dario de Kansas

    Dario de Kansas Senior Member

    Kansas, USA
    American English
    I agree with this. Most common (at least where I live) would be: "I didn't sleep well."
     
  5. rominachus Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish
    Is there any link to see and check how the language works currently? I mean, I´m a teacher and eventhough it´s necessary to explain the grammaticaly correct versions of words and categories, it´d be nice to tell them what they may find in the streets as well!

    Thanks!
     
  6. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
    A teacher should be teaching the correct grammar even if the examples are not often used in speech. The usual colloquial expression is that which Dario de Kansas has given you "I didn't sleep well last night"

    It's true that people often say "I slept bad last night" just like people often make other grammatical errors, that does not make it correct.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  7. Saint72 Senior Member

    Cardiff
    English - England
    also we say 'I had a bad nights sleep', I agree to a certain extent scotu about teaching right grammar. But, I sometimes when teaching also explain the colloquial terms if I feel that it is beneficial to know especially when it may cause confusion not knowing them.
     
  8. ForsMiner Senior Member

    English - US
    I have to take exception with this statement.

    (The endless debate of prescriptive vs. descriptive language.)
     
  9. rominachus Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish
    So, any colloquial good site? Thanks!
     
  10. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "I slept bad" is not often heard in England.
     
  11. ForsMiner Senior Member

    English - US
    I would imagine that just about any, non-scholarly site, on the internet or any television show (besides the news) would be representative. American English in particular tends toward informality. There are a number of trends lately that are non-grammatical, but which are gaining cachet (some might say at an alarming rate.) For example: "The boss told Mary and I about it." To be correct grammatically, it should be "...told Mary and me..."

    So much depends on what your students intend to do with the English they learn.
     
  12. ForsMiner Senior Member

    English - US
    How about "I slept good?" (Or will a Brit always say "well"?) In the U.S. "I slept good last night" would be the preferred phrasing. (We would inquire about one's sleep in the same way: "Did you sleep good?")
     
  13. gladnhart

    gladnhart Senior Member

    Oregon
    Am English
    "I slept bad." will probably communicate imprecision, if not ignorance, as would "I didn't sleep so good."
    You would best use the appropriate adverbial forms:
    "I didn't sleep so well last night."
    "I slept poorly." And if you must: "I slept badly."

    "I slept good." can be argued as a contracted form of "How I slept last night was good." But it is still not universally accepted.
     
  14. Saint72 Senior Member

    Cardiff
    English - England
    In England we wouldn't say 'I slept good' only 'I slept well' or 'I had a good nights sleep'
     
  15. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
    In America, educated people say it the same way you do.
     
  16. ForsMiner Senior Member

    English - US
    This morning on the way to work, listening to NPR, I heard a senator say (ironically in reference to an education bill) "We have to make sure we do it right; be sure all the right stuff is in there." I'm willing to be this guy has a master's degree.

    I take exception to the generalization that one's use of "proper" grammar is a definite indicator of one's education (or, for that matter, that education is a definite indicator of one's intelligence.) Slippery slope!
     
  17. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
     
  18. gladnhart

    gladnhart Senior Member

    Oregon
    Am English
    Re: "We have to make sure we do it right."
    Hay un argumento a favor de esto. Esta frase significa «¡Hazlo de manera que es correcto o justo.» No serviría la situación de decir: «We have to make sure we do it rightly
    Aún así, es mejor decir, «I slept badly» o «I didn't sleep so well.»
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  19. ForsMiner Senior Member

    English - US
    Grammatically, there is no difference between "We have to make sure we do it right." and "We have to make sure we sleep good." Which is my point: that prescriptive grammar is fallacious. Descriptive grammar is (should be) the only true measure. It's not how something ought to be said that matters, but how something is said.

    Ultimately prescriptive grammar arises from descriptive grammar...and not vice versa.

    Me gusta lo de tu "om shanti". "Dhiyo yo naha prachodayat." (Qué seamos iluminados.)
     
  20. FromPA

    FromPA Senior Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
    If all rules are bogus, then there's nothing to learn, and we're all wasting our time visiting the grammar forum. If, on the other hand, you might want to create the impression that you're a well-educated person, then knowing how "something ought to be said" may come in handy. It's not essential, but it has its advantages.
     
  21. gladnhart

    gladnhart Senior Member

    Oregon
    Am English
    It is not so much how something "ought" to be said, but rather how the people that you want to communicate with say it. So you are right, these 'rules' are useful. Just be aware that the rules do change (the most useful ones change very slowly) and are different in different places.;)
     
  22. ForsMiner Senior Member

    English - US
    I apologize if I give the impression that I believe "all rules are bogus", since that is not the case. What I do believe is that there are rules which arise from a preference for what someone (arbitrarily) believes to be the (proper) way things should be done. And then there are rules that describe actual practice. Often such rules arise from an observation of actuality, but if there is one rule that is always true in language, it is that "there's an exception to (nearly) every rule." It may be completely proper to correct someone's misuse of a rule, when they are far off base. But to haggle over nimiedades of whether something in actual use is grammatically correct or not is counterproductive.

    To demand that a person always use the correct, sanctioned-by-the-British, (or sanctioned-by-American-grammaticians) is (in my opinion) to ill prepare a non-native speaker for ease of communication. And while it is true that the average native speaker is likely to understand virtually any utterance approaching the norm...the non-native speaker, who is acquainted only with by-the-book grammar will be clueless about what is being said to him.

    I have been continually amazed over the years how the prescriptive Spanish rules that I was taught, while generally holding true, are often 'broken' by native speakers. I'm continually told by native speakers that I speak "better Spanish" than they do. And I once nearly came to blows with a native speaker over biblioteca vs. librería (EVERYBODY knows that the latter is an Americanism and therefore "wrong".) (He wanted to beat me up for being such a know-it-all prig.) What I have learned from a multi-lingual experience which spans more than 3 decades is that actual human usage weighs more than arbitrary rules written in a grammar book.

    I apologize again for carrying this thread in a completely different direction (however related). Perhaps someone would like to continue it with a discussion of such English "problems" as "ain't", "fixin' to" "ask vs. aks", etc.
     
  23. acirea222

    acirea222 Senior Member

    Michigan , United States
    English - United States
    In U.S. English colloquial speech, we mix adverbs and adjectives. Grammatically, it's incorrect though.
     
  24. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    Spain
    English, UK
    I think there is a greater tendency in American English to say things like, I slept bad and he did it good because of the strong German and, related, Yiddish influence , in which languages the adverb is often the same as the adjective. But I should imagine that such utterances might be avoided at an interview for a white-collar job, for instance, prescriptive or not.
     
  25. acirea222

    acirea222 Senior Member

    Michigan , United States
    English - United States
    Neat observation.
     
  26. ForsMiner Senior Member

    English - US
    Interesting observation! And point well taken!
     
  27. Spug Senior Member

    Hello,

    I'd have to disagree.

    My Webster's Unabridged Dictionary gives nine definitions for right used as an adverb. The Dictionary.com website lists 11. On the other hand, Webster's gives only one for the use of good as an adverb, and notes that the usage is obsolete.

    It appears that the senator was using correct grammar, whereas saying to sleep good is incorrect.

    Saludos...
     
  28. gladnhart

    gladnhart Senior Member

    Oregon
    Am English
    Nice going Spug. Check out American Heritage:
    Our Living Language : Speakers of Standard English mainly restrict the use of adverbial right to modify adverbs of space or time, as in She's right over there or Do it right now! No such restriction applies in Southern vernacular speech, where right can be used to intensify the meaning of many adjectives and adverbs, as in He's right nice or You talk right fast. This broader use of right is attested as far back as the 15th century and is found in the works of Shakespeare and other great writers. Thus, what appears to be neglect of Standard English rules is actually the retention of a once-proper historical usage. · The use of right as an adverb indicating directness, completeness, or general intensity seems to be related to the use of right in a more concrete sense to refer to something that is perfectly straight or perpendicular to something else, as in right angle. . . . Source:The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
     
  29. horsewishr

    horsewishr Senior Member

    Michigan (USA)
    English (Generic Midwest Variety)
    I have to agree 100%. Right can be used as an adverb. Good cannot!
     

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