Good vs. Well

English Grammar 20 February 2010 | 0 Comments

When do I use good and when do I use well?

Lots of people have asked me this question on twitter, so I thought I’d give a little lesson on it. ‘Good’ is used when you are referring to a noun – ‘good book,’ ‘good dog.’ ‘Well’ is used when you are referring to a verb, an adverb or other adverbs – ‘speak well,’ ‘swim well.’

Even if you confuse the two as even a lot of native speakers do, you will still be understood. Someone might look at you oddly if you said, “That is a well book.” Or if you say, “You swim really good,” but they will understand what you mean.

As with everything, there are exceptions:

For one, if you are talking about health, you use ‘well’. So you say, “I am well today.” Even though ‘well’ is referring to ‘I’, you would use, ‘well’ here.

Also, if you are talking about how something smells, tastes, looks, sounds, or feels, you use ‘good.’ Example: “That apple pie smells very good!” or “I feel good!”

To sum it up:

Use WELL when you modify a verb, an adverb or an adjective
Use GOOD when you modify a noun.

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