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Is It Good Or Well

Published by at February 9th, 2024 , Revised On February 28, 2024

The words “good” and “well” are two of the most commonly used and misused words in the English language. While they may sound similar, they have distinct functions and should not be used interchangeably. This guide will help you understand the difference between “good” and “well” and provide you with clear examples to ensure you are using them correctly.

Understanding The Basics

Before we explore the specific contexts in which “good” and “well” are appropriate, let’s establish some foundational knowledge. “Good” is an adjective, used to describe nouns, while “well” is an adverb, used to modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs

Here’s a simple rule of thumb to remember:

  • Good describes things.
  • Well describes actions.

This fundamental difference is key to discerning their appropriate application in various situations.

Using “Good”

The adjective “good” is employed to describe the quality or characteristics of a noun. It can refer to a person, place, thing, or idea. Here are some scenarios where “good” is the preferred choice:

Describing Nouns

  • Example: “She is a good friend who always lends a supportive ear.”
  • Example: “The film received good reviews for its compelling storyline.”

Expressions Of Well-Being

  • Example: “I feel good after a refreshing morning jog.”
  • Example: “Eating nutritious food is essential for maintaining good health.”

Moral Or Ethical Judgement

  • Example: “It is important to do good deeds to contribute to society.”
  • Example: “He has a good heart and always helps those in need.”


  • This is a good book. (Describes the book as “good”)
  • She is a good friend. (Describes the friend as “good”)
  • He had a good time at the party. (Describes the “time” as “good”)
  • The cake looks good. (Describes the cake as “good”)

Using “Well”

On the other hand, the adverb “well” is used to modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. Understanding when to use “well” can be a bit trickier, but the following examples should provide clarity:

Modifying Verbs

  • Example: “She sings well, captivating the audience with her melodious voice.”
  • Example: “He performs well under pressure, excelling in challenging situations.”

Modifying Adjectives

  • Example: “The team is well-prepared for the upcoming competition.”
  • Example: “Despite the setbacks, he remained well-focused on his goals.”

Modifying Other Adverbs

  • Example: “She spoke eloquently and argued her points well.”
  • Example: “He completed the task surprisingly well, exceeding expectations.”


  • He dances well. (Modifies the verb “dances”)
  • She speaks English well. (Modifies the verb “speaks”)
  • The food was well prepared. (Modifies the adjective “prepared”)
  • I can see very well today. (Modifies the adverb “very”)

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Common Pitfalls And Exceptions

Here are some common mistakes and exceptions for the use of good or well.

Health And Well-Being

    • Incorrect: “I hope you feel good soon.”
    • Correct: “I hope you feel well soon.”

Linking Verbs

    • Incorrect: “The project turned out good.”
    • Correct: “The project turned out well.”

Transitional Phrases

    • Incorrect: “The plan is progressing good.”
    • Correct: “The plan is progressing well.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Use “well” when describing actions or conditions related to health, performance, or behavior. Example: “She sings well.” Use “good” to describe qualities or characteristics of nouns. Example: “She is a good friend.” Understanding this distinction ensures precise and effective communication in various contexts.

Use “I’m well” to indicate good health or overall well-being. However, colloquially, “I’m good” is widely accepted in casual settings. While both are commonly used, strictly speaking, “I’m well” adheres to the traditional rule of using “well” for health-related contexts.

The correct phrase is “Am I doing well?” “Well” is an adverb that describes how you are doing in a task or situation. While the colloquial use of “doing good” is common, grammatically, it’s more accurate to use “doing well” to signify effective performance or progress in a particular activity.

Use “well” as an adverb to modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. For instance, you can say “She sings well,” where “well” describes how she sings. It’s also used to express good health, as in “I feel well.” Understanding its adverbial role clarifies its appropriate usage in various contexts.

The correct phrase is “speaks well.” “Well” is an adverb that describes the manner in which someone speaks. While colloquially “speaks good” is often used, it is more grammatically precise to say “speaks well” to convey effective or proficient communication.

The correct phrase is “tastes good.” “Good” is used to describe the quality of the taste in this context. While “tastes well” is commonly heard, it is grammatically more accurate to use “tastes good” when expressing the palatability or quality of the flavor of something.

Yes, saying “I am good” is widely accepted in casual conversation, although it might be considered less formal. While some grammar purists argue for “I am well” in strict adherence to traditional rules, the use of “good” in this context is common and generally acceptable in everyday language.

About Alvin Nicolas

Avatar for Alvin NicolasNicolas has a master's degree in literature and a PhD degree in statistics. He is a content manager at ResearchProspect. He loves to write, cook and run. Nicolas is passionate about helping students at all levels.