I'm new to English. Could anyone tell me what is wrong with the first statement?

  1. She held the bag tightly, even her arm hurt badly.
  2. She held the bag tight, even her arm hurt badly.  (Correct one according to a source)

3 Answers 3


Sentence 1 uses the word tight correctly.

She held the bag tightly, even her arm hurt badly.

You need to add "ly" on tight to make it an adverb. The word "tight" is describing her hold on the bag—not the bag. Holding is a verb, so an adverb should be describing it.

However, the rest of the sentence is not correct. It should be either separated into two or the second part changed to a dependent clause.

These both work:

She held the bag tight. Even her arm hurt badly.

She held the bag tight, even though her arm hurt badly.

Edit: As the other questions point out, "tight" can also be an adverb. As a native speaker, using tight as an adverb sounds a little odd, but both sentences are correct.


Both of them are correct.

Like the other answer says, an adverb describes a verb. We know tightly is an adverb, the word tight is also used as an adverb.

So, none of them are wrong.

Hold him tight.


Hold him tightly.

are both grammatically correct sentences.


Both previous comments are correct. "Tight" is an adjective, but it is also an adverb. You can use "tightly," but you don't have to. Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite. The dress fitted her too tight about the waist. But the second comment is also correct. You can string separate sentences together separated by a comma only if the sentences are closely related as in "I came, I saw, I conquered."

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