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Is it acceptable to say "We'll get back to you as quick as we can"? Is "quick" a flat adverb in this case?

3 Answers 3

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The article Flat Adverbs Are Flat-Out Useful suggests that "quick" is a flat adverb.

Just as an example, "come quick" and "come quickly" are both grammatically correct.

Consider the similar sentence: "We'll get back to you as soon as we can." Here, "soon" is taking the place of "quick" with all most the exact same meaning ("fast" works as well).

Consider an alternative sentence: "We'll do it as quick as we can." and a sentence with similar structure but different meaning: "We'll do it as quietly as we can." Here the word "quiet" is almost never presented as a flat adverb (maybe never?) and so you need the -ly.

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It's interesting to note that AHDEL lists the adverbial usage as synonymous with quickly, and with no caveats.

Collins lists the adverbial usage as being in an informal register.

I'd certainly choose 'quickly' for Michael's delightfully highbrow example, but would use either variant in OP's example.

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  • Flat adverbs are much more acceptable in American English, although this does vary regionally. This probably accounts for the difference between AHDEL and Collins. Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 14:54
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I'd say it was acceptable, since it's a common usage. It's not quite correct, however. "Quickly" is the proper adverb.

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  • Your second link states 'Quickly is the adverb form of quick. Many dictionaries, however, describe quick as a very informal use of quickly.' However, of the five reputable online dictionaries I've checked in, three have no label and two label the usage merely 'informal'. Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 16:20

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