Feel Bad vs. Feel Bad For – English Vocabulary Lesson

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Tom said he feels bad for Jack. His girlfriend left him, and he’s feeling down about it. I’m shocked because Tom is the guy who stole Jack’s girlfriend! I can’t believe he doesn’t feel bad about that. I feel bad because I totally forgot Jack’s birthday yesterday. He’s a nice guy. I hope he feels better soon.

Today, let’s have a look at the difference between feel bad and feel bad for. Do you know the difference? Look at the paragraph above once more and then check the lesson below.

You can use feel bad for + [person] when you feel sad because the person has some misfortune or trouble:

  • I feel bad for Jack because his girlfriend left him.
  • Jenny got laid off from her job. I feel bad for her.
  • There was a terrible storm and many people lost their homes. I fee bad for them.

You can use feel bad for + VerbING when you feel sad because you’ve done something wrong:

  • I feel bad for missing your birthday party.
  • She said she feels bad for leaving him, but she doesn’t love him anymore.
  • I feel bad for breaking your nice pen. I’ll buy you a new one.

You also can use feel bad when you feel sad because you’ve done something wrong. Here, feel bad doesn’t take an object:

  • Oh my! I missed your birthday. I feel so bad.
  • I feel bad because I crashed my car into my sister’s car.
  • I’m sorry for what I said. I feel bad about that.

So note the phrase I feel bad is not the opposite of I feel good! Instead use, I don’t feel well.
If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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