Here is an example given in the Cambridge dictionary for bad:

She's just a bad loser (= she is unpleasant when she loses).

Why does bad go back to "she" instead of "loser"? I would translate this sentence as "she loses very bad" meaning she loses with the worst result possible.

2 Answers 2


You would be right, if the sentence worked in the same way as

"She's an exceptionally good cook."

But to be a "bad loser" is an idiom.

If someone is a good loser, they accept that they have lost a game or contest without complaining. If someone is a bad loser, they hate losing and complain about it.



I think the implication is that when she loses, her behaviour as a consequence of the loss is considered to be bad. It's not about the size or scope of the loss itself.

  • Exactly: It is the loser's reaction/behaviour/attitude that is bad. Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 20:56

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