When to Use "Well" and "Good"

“Hi! How are you?” “I am good!”

“Hey! How have you been?” “I have not been well for the past few days.”

Good and Well – these are two words in the English language that has caused confusion to its users. Is it important to study these? Of course, it is! These are only a couple of words that are commonly misused not only in speaking but also in writing. Let us discuss the differences between Good and Well.


This is an adjective. As we all know, adjectives are used to describe a noun. Hence, the word "good" can be in different positions in a sentence.

1. It can be placed before the noun it modifies.


  • Good people always find themselves lucky both in career and in their relationship.
  • I need to get good grades in my IELTS examination.

2. It can be placed after be verbs.

  • The driver is good.
  • The chicken that you prepared last night was good.

3. It can be placed after state verbs (look, smell, taste, feel)

  • Joel smells really good today.
  • The coffee tasted good. 


The word "well" is an adverb. As a review, adverbs are words that modify a verb, an adjective, another adverb or even the whole idea of the sentence.


  • You did well today. (In this sentence, the word “well” is modifying the verb “did”.)
  • It was a well-explained essay. (It describes the word “explained” functioning as an adjective.)

One more thing that people should remember on the usage of WELL.

 We use well when we refer to health.


  • I do not feel well. I need to take some rest.
  • Richard did not look well yesterday. It seemed that he was down with flu.

Here is an exercise for you to practice on.
Which word, good or well, would be more appropriate in each of these sentences?

1. The orchestra performed _____ and sounded _____ for the entire three-hour concert.

2. Computer technicians with _____ skills are in high demand.

3. Samantha looked _____ in the blue dress and hat.

4. After Bob lost his ring, he asked all of us to look for it _____ under our desks and in the wastebaskets.

Source: http://www.getitwriteonline.com/archive/081301goodwell.htm

Correct grammar usage is very important for people taking English proficiency examinations. English competency tests include speaking and writing sections where an individual’s grammar skills are measured. Hence, the importance of getting knowledge on the grammar rules such as GOOD and WELL is a good start in getting familiar with the dozens of rules in the English language.

No comments:

Post a Comment