What does the expression "as bad as it is" mean? Does it mean on top of that for e.g. as bad something (accident or something like that) is, something similarly bad?

I have been sick all week. As bad as it is, there are exams this weekend.

Or is it similar to "even though", like this expression:

As much as I like you, I don't agree with you on this.

3 Answers 3


In your examples it could be replaced by in spite of or despite.

In spite of the fact that I've been sick all week, there are exams this weekend [that I have to get through].

Despite how much I like you, I don't agree with you on this.

That should make the meaning clearer.

  • 1
    As your [that I have to get through] implies, I don't think OP's first example represents a particularly credible utterance. The [as] xxx as it is construction pretty much requires a "contrasting" conjunction, and for "I'm sick", I don't think "[but/and] there are exams this weekend" contrasts as clearly as "I have to sit those exams". OP's version would do better with something like "On top of all that", or "And if that weren't bad enough". Which isn't how the construction would be paraphrased in his example #2. Feb 1, 2013 at 17:13
  • @Robusto Thabks for the answer, I understand the use of despite / in spite, but I want to know what does as bas as it is mean?
    – Max
    Feb 1, 2013 at 17:43
  • 1
    It's meaning is literal: Even given how bad it [the situation] is something still must be done that would have been easier if [the situation] were not the case.
    – Jim
    Feb 1, 2013 at 17:49

"As bad as it is" implies that while you think the situation is bad, it could be worse. At that point you either supply a reason that the situation is actually worse:

As bad as the report is, he now wants to add 5 pages about lint traps.

... or you provide a contrast to show it isn't as bad as it could be:

As bad as the movie is, at least they don't literally jump a shark.


It's wrong. It's common parlance now, and has been for 20 or 30 years; but it's still wrong.

These days we say As bad as it is, it could be a whole lot worse when we SHOULD say Bad as it is, it could be a whole lot worse.

We should still say I may be bad, but I'm not as bad as he is.

It may be too late to correct it now, but that doesn't mean it's right; and if you want to avoid being thought illiterate, do it as above.

(I'm old - 84 - but don't fall into the trap of thinking 'as bad as it is' is a new fashion in speech: it is, and always will be, simply wrong.)

  • You don't actually explain why it's wrong. Sep 11, 2022 at 9:17

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