Which one of the following two sentences is correct?

They have had a real good time.

They have had a really good time.

I think both of them are correct because real can also be used as adjective to emphasize something.

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? Difference between 'real' and 'really' when being adverb In colloquial (especially, American) English real can be used as a "flat adverb" (as in Come quick!, Don't drive fast, I like to dance slow). Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 17:02
  • @FumbleFingers Is "real" an adverb in this sentence? What verb does it modify? It appears to me to be used as an adjective modifying "time" and therefore I'd argue this sentence, while quite common, is not strictly grammatical.
    – TypeIA
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 22:09
  • @TypeIA: I happen to know the term "flat adverb", which specifically applies to the way real, quick, different,... may be used adverbially (instead of really, quickly differently,...). In which context, fast is a "true" flat adverb (there is no -ly adverbial form fastly). But I'm not really (real?!) interested in "the naming of the parts" - simply pointing out that even though pedants may think some of these "flat" usages are syntactically questionable, many real live native speakers use them all the time. Commented Feb 14, 2020 at 12:55
  • @TypeIA "Adverb" is a catch-all category for words that don't fit other categories. Some adverbs modify verbs, some adverbs modify adjectives, etc.
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Feb 15, 2020 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


Yes, both are grammatically correct sentences.

Using the former to mean the latter is common in American English, but not so common in British English.

  • I agree with the above as long as "real" is not used in an examination.
    – user81561
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 19:44

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