The idiom "don't get me wrong", seems to mean "please don't misunderstand me".

But if one was to replace "get" with "understand" or "interpret" to make the meaning more clear, then shouldn't it be "wrongly" instead of "wrong"?

"Don't understand me wrongly"...

One wouldn't say "if I understand correct", one would say "if I understand correctly", so shouldn't the same apply to "wrong" here?

  • 3
    No, we would not need an adverb. The complement here applies to the perceived, adjectivally, not to the perceiving, adverbially. wrong is the light in which the thing ends up as a result of your act of not getting it. Take it easy. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 6 '16 at 10:04
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    You're right about the meaning of the idiom, and I do see why you would think an adverb should be used there. Perhaps the best way to think of this idiom is that it doesn't mean "Don't understand this incorrectly" as much as it means "Do not interpret this to mean a thing that is wrong." – stangdon Aug 6 '16 at 17:39
  • thanks for the best way of thinking about the idiom @stangdon, that is really helpful :) – Keith Hall Aug 6 '16 at 19:06
  • @TRomano makes sense, thanks - maybe you want to make that an answer? :) – Keith Hall Aug 6 '16 at 19:06

Nope, no adverbs. They're interpreted entirely different than a simple "half-adverb" like 'wrong' is in this context.

As in, in my sentence above: the word "different" could have been "differently" (an adverb) but the -ly suffix means you're modifying your mode of doing something (verb), not the way in which you interpret it.

  • Examples:

    • Gertrude made her project differently this time. (Translation: She still made her project, she just did it in a different way - maybe she used glue instead of glitter for the adhesive or something.)

    • Gertrude made her project different this time. (Translation: She made her project, but this implies she's made one before - and this time [in particular] she made the entire process or manner of it different, not necessarily the project itself or how she made it. Just minor tweaks. See here or search 'different vs. differently'/something similar in Google.)

This song might help in understanding the difference, I don't know: "Don't Get Me Wrong" by Lily Allen.

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