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gailcalled's avatar

What's the diff. between "I feel sick" and "I feel sickly"?

Asked by gailcalled (54575points) March 23rd, 2007
Elizabeth Edwards announced yesterday, sadly, that her breast cancer has returned. She said, "I don't look sickly. I don't feel sickly." Would "I don't feel sick, etc" mean something different? Laura Bush said recently, "I don't feel badly, " meaning the same thing. A flutherer (whose name I have forgotten, so can't give attribution)" suggested using "ill" in order to be clear.
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7 Answers

nomtastic's avatar
i think sickly implies a constant sort of icky, sick fatigue. sick is a physiological thing.
gailcalled's avatar
I have heard the expression "he/she looks sickly, " never "feels sickly." It may imply some chronic problem...like a wasting disease.
hossman's avatar
"I don't feel badly" is incorrect usage, as bad/good suggest morality rather than health. "Sickly" does indeed suggest an ongoing state of general or repeated poor health. The preferred usage for a single incident of poor health would be "I feel ill." In fact, even "I feel poorly" is not preferable, as it suggests an inability to correctly sense through touch.
gailcalled's avatar
And, having just done my taxes, I know what "I feel poor" means; and it has little to do w. illness. Hossman, you were the guy (?) I was thinking of for attribution of "I feel ill." Nice to know that there are still people around who look for clarity of expression.
peggylou's avatar
Hossman, have you ever wondered why today's children answer "good" when asked how they are and old-fashioned children (such as I) always answered "fine."
wairoagurl's avatar

because sick is unwell and sickly is like you feel grose

Paulaveni82's avatar

Actually, you are all wrong. The only proper ways to express that are as follows: l feel sickly. This is simply because to feel is a verb, no matter the context, hence nearly all verbs precede an adverb that ends in the suffix “ly.” An example of an adverb that doesn’t end in “ly” is also the next proper way to express this, which would be, “l feel ill.” Although the word ill is inherently an adjective, used in this context it becomes an adverb. The final proper way to express this would be, “l feel badly.” Again an advervb is needed here, because to feel is a verb always. Verbs are tricky. To die is a verb. One could say, “she died suddenly.” Another example of the verb feel followed by a rare adverb would be, “l feel sorry for him.” Notice the absence of the “ly” suffix. Any questions? By the way Americans don’t do the English language much justice and it is us who have the accent, not the Brits. An accent is defined as any altered pronunciation or twang from the original language. Technically, we not only have an accent, but we also have a language of our own, known as American English, which is basically American-mutilated English with various accents, i.e. N.Y.C, Southern, New England and so on.

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