I actually looked at the "drive safe/ly" answers before I posted this question and remember, at the time, seeing how these were clearly two different questions. Now, however, they seem the same. I guess I didn't think I was near as drunk as I actually was.


Near or nearly?

Between "not near as drunk" and "not nearly as drunk", I can't think of a compelling reason to prefer one to the other. "Not nearly" sounds better, I think, but I wouldn't be able to say why.

I imagine it comes down to whether "as" is an adverb or a preposition in this phrase, but I can't think of a compelling reason to decide even that one way or the other.

  • See the question on "drive safe" or "drive safely". english.stackexchange.com/q/8328/9368 Adjectives can be (and have been for centuries) used also as adverbs.
    – GEdgar
    Mar 2, 2019 at 12:02
  • Possible duplicate of Which is correct: "drive safe" or "drive safely"?
    – GEdgar
    Mar 2, 2019 at 12:03
  • 2
    "nowhere near as drunk" is also a possibility you should bear in mind the next time you want to use this phrase. I'm nowhere near as drunk as I'm planning to be.
    – TimR
    Mar 2, 2019 at 13:31
  • I read 'not near as drunk' in a Yorkshire accent Mar 2, 2019 at 19:55
  • Not sure about Yorkshire, but certainly a regional dialect.
    – Colin Fine
    Aug 30, 2019 at 23:21

1 Answer 1


Not nearly as drunk would be better.

Nearly works as the adverb that modifies as (another adverb). Adverbs can modify other adverbs and explain "how much."

Edited for clarity and a typo.

  • Would you prefer to stand nearer to the door, or more nearly? Or what about nearlier? Only in near misses and such is near an adjective. It's usually an adverb -- one of a different kind than nearly is . (And some would say that even as a preposition it's gradable, if you can fit your head around that one.)
    – tchrist
    Mar 3, 2019 at 22:44

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