Skip to content

Grammarflex

Grammarflex logo

Good vs. Well (Usage + Examples)

How to use 'good' vs. 'well'.

Is your day going good or well? And is it, I hope you’re ‘well’ or ‘good’? These words are some of the most common words to appear in email and business correspondences. Let’s acknowledge the difference.




How to use good vs. well

Compare how good and well appear in these sentences:


  • I hope your day is going well.


  • I hope it’s been a good day.


The first sentence uses ‘well’ to modify ‘is going’, which are verbs or verb forms. Since ‘well’ is modifying a verb, this classifies it as an adverb, because adverbs modify verbs.


Conversely, ‘good’ is describing the ‘day’; i.e., a noun, making it an adjective, since adjectives describe nouns. In other words, we use ‘well’ to describe actions or states, and ‘good’ to describe people, places or things.


  • Good is a noun that refers to “the amount of confidence and enthusiasm, etc. that a person or a group has at a particular time”.


  • Well is mostly an adjective that describes being “connected with principles of right and wrong behaviour”. As a noun, morals refers to “standards or principles of good behaviour



“Good” / “well”, used in sentences

Examples: “good”, used in sentences
The piano was in good condition.

Your work is just not good enough.

The results were pretty good.
Examples: “well”, used in sentences
They played well in the tournament.

The team work well together.

The kids all behaved well.

The conference was very well organized.



Good, synonyms

  • acceptable
  • excellent
  • exceptional
  • favorable
  • great
  • marvellous
  • positive
  • satisfactory
  • satisfying
  • superb
  • valuable
  • wonderful



Well, synonyms

  • adequately
  • easily
  • far
  • freely
  • fully
  • properly
  • quite
  • right
  • smoothly



Word origin (of good/well)

Old English gōd (with a long “o”) “excellent, fine; valuable; desirable, favorable, beneficial; full, entire, complete;” of abstractions, actions, etc., “beneficial, effective; righteous, pious;” of persons or souls, “righteous, pious, virtuous;” probably originally “having the right or desirable quality,” from Proto-Germanic *gōda- “fitting, suitable”.


“in a satisfactory manner,” Old English wel “abundantly, very, very much; indeed, to be sure; with good reason; nearly, for the most part,” from Proto-Germanic *wel-…from PIE root.



Read about other misused words

Commonly misused wordsUK English vs. US English
former vs. latterburned or burnt?
bear with vs. bare withcolor or colour?
breathe or breathfavorite vs. favourite
compliment vs. complementsmelled or smelt?
effect vs. affectgray or grey?
elude or alludefavor vs. favour
it’s or itsanalyze or analyse?



Sources

  1. Oxford Learner’s Dictionary on “good” and “well”. Accessed 23 March, 2024.
  2. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of well.” Online Etymology Dictionary, https://www.etymonline.com/word/well. Accessed 23 March, 2024.


Recent Posts

Assent, ascent or accent?

Assent or Ascent (or Accent?)

When to use assent, ascent and accent The differences between assent, ascent and accent: Assent may be a noun or a verb: the former refers

Device or devise?

Devise or Device? (Meaning, Usage)

What’s the difference between device and devise? Devise is a verb meaning “to invent or plan”. Device is a noun that refers to “an object

Paid or payed?

Is “Paid” or “Payed” Correct?

What is the correct past tense of “pay”? The verb pay, which describes giving money to someone for something you want to buy or for

Amiable or amicable?

When to Use Amiable or Amicable?

Are amiable and amicable the same? Both amiable and amicable are describing words (i.e., adjectives); the difference mostly concerns what it is that they describe:

Is it creeped or crept?

What’s the Past Tense of Creep?

Is it creeped or crept? If you’re trying to say that you’re creeped out by something, use creeped. Otherwise, both creeped and crept are accepted