In order to modify an adjective or adverb, we use an adverb in English, as in "completely insane" or "It went completely out of hand". Now 'full', though mainly used as an adjective, occurs in English as adverb too, like for instance when you say: "I know full well." This makes the differentiation between "fully" and "full" not as intuitive as some may think.

I was wondering if I could get some thoughts on how the following sounds:

He advanced to battle, full angry.


He advanced to battle, fully angry.

  • I guess "full angry" sounds classical, like Shakespeare or something.
    – GEdgar
    Apr 5 '15 at 23:53
  • If you quote say the senses Collins give for the adverb 'full', you will have made this a better question for ELU. But the downvote isn't mine. Apr 6 '15 at 0:01

Perhaps of interest:

Studies in Early Modern English - Page 245 Dieter Kastovsky - 1994

They were: cruel vs. cruelly, exceeding vs. exceedingly, excellent vs. excellently, extraordinary vs. extraordinarily, full vs. fully, might vs. mightily, pure vs. purely, singular ... occur well before the introduction of normative grammars in the eighteenth century


I would not say "He advanced to battle, full angry.". Rather I would say:

"He advanced into battle, full of anger."

I don't think I would ever say "He advanced to battle, fully angry."

On the other hand I would say:

"The man sat back in his chair, fully satisfied with his dinner."

One way to see if something works is to replace the verb and preposition phrase with a simple verb... for example the word "was"

He was full angry. Does not work

He was fully angry. it is fine but I would not write it this way.

He was full of anger. This would be my choice of the three.

this sentence using "fully" sounds fine with verb replacement.

"The man was fully satisfied with his dinner."

  • 'He was fully angry. It is fine but I would not write it this way.' I agree, I wouldn't use it either. I find it hard to see why you say 'It is fine'. But I'm not the downvoter. Yet. Apr 6 '15 at 0:04
  • I actually said I did not like it but can find no reason to reject it. My third version is the way I would say it... in addition I changed "in" to "into". I will lean on the standard response of a native speaker to an English grammar problem ... "It sounds better this way"
    – Lynxear
    Apr 6 '15 at 0:24
  • 1
    All dictionaries I have looked at indicate that "full" can be an adverb as well as an adjective, but there seems to be emphasis only on the phrase "full well." Thanks for the comments. thefreedictionary.com/full
    – asef
    Apr 6 '15 at 0:40

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