Thursday, November 1, 2012

What's the Word Wednesday - Good or Well


People are often confused about when to use the words good and well.

"Good" is an adjective (and a noun in some cases); "well" is used as an adverb unless used as an adjective meaning "healthy". If we need a word to describe noun or pronoun we use "good". If we need a word to describe verb (or sometimes adjective or other adverb) we use "well". For example:

Kate is a good piano player. (correct)
Kate is a well piano player. (incorrect!)

Kate plays the piano well. (correct)
Kate plays the piano good. (incorrect!)

My brother did well on the English test. (correct)
My brother did good on the English test. (incorrect!)

Do you think I'm doing well at school? (correct)
Do you think I'm doing good at school? (incorrect!)

After linking verbs such as be, taste, sound, smell, look, seem, appear we use the adjective "good" as we are describing the subject of the sentence, not the action of the verb:
The concert last night wasn't very good.
Your idea sounds good and if it works would be great.
It always smells good after the rain.

More confusion???

 If your doctor asks, "How do you feel?" You should say, I am well. / I feel well. / I'm feeling well. (refers to health, a physical state)

If you just scored a touchdown and your friend asks, "How do you feel?"  You should say,
"I am good. / I feel good. / I'm feeling good. (refers rather to emotional than physical state)

Write a story using the words good and well. How do you feel about that?

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