Which one is correct?

  • I hope I thanked you proper!
  • I hope I thanked you properly!
  • The second one. Also, read this. – SomethingDark Aug 29 '15 at 3:40
  • Though the flat adverb proper is used in certain limited circumstances (They were beaten good and proper; Can't she talk proper?), it would sound like slang, dialect or even be unacceptable here. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 29 '15 at 15:37
  • You will sometimes read something like "I hope I thanked you proper" when the speaker is presumably using a certain dialect (rural in the US, and I think also rural in England). But "prescriptive" rules disallow "proper" as an adverb, and "descriptive" rules discourage it. – Hot Licks Sep 1 '15 at 12:30
  • This is not a duplicate of “He acted stange(ly?)”. That question is asking about an entirely different construction where strange is in fact an adjective, not an adverb. This question is about flat adverbs; there is no way proper in this question can be analysed as an adjective in the sense intended here. I’ve voted to reopen. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 20 '15 at 15:09

I hope I thanked you properly. Properly is an adverb, modifying the verb thanked.

  • Hello, Steve. Yes, but this is not a substantial enough answer for ELU. Why is 'proper' not acceptable here (and remember, it is sometimes used as an adverb)? – Edwin Ashworth Aug 29 '15 at 15:39

In general, adverbs in English end -ly, and adjectives do not. There are irregular adverbs like well, and others like hard (which does not mean hardly).

Some may say that although properly exists as an adverb, proper may be an adverbial form too. I contend that it is not one in Standard English.

It can be used as an adverb in dialectal English (“Can’t she talk proper?” would not be out of place in south or east London) and it does exist in the fixed phrase good and proper (“I fixed it good and proper; it will never come apart!”) where that entire fixed phrase becomes an adverb.

In Standard English, the adverbial form of proper is properly.

The related question about strange/strangely is worth a read.

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