Friday, April 26, 2013

WELL versus GOOD

How are you?
I'm good.

How are you feeling? Have you gotten over the flu?
Yes, I'm well.

How does that steak taste?
Mmm, it tastes well.
Oh, did they overcook it?
No, it tastes good.

How does that rose smell?
It smells good.


Do you know when to use the word WELL versus the word GOOD? Are you sure?

The basic rules:
Good is an adjective. Use it to describe nouns.
Well is an adverb. Use it to describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.

** When describing senses like taste and smell, it is more common and acceptable to use GOOD instead of well (see examples above). It makes more sense to say the steak tastes good. Saying it tastes well leads to confusion.

** And when someone asks you how you are feeling either during an illness or after an illness, it is acceptable to say "I am well." It indicates how you are feeling (a verb).

Of course, there are a million more details to the topic, but this covers the basics.

Good luck with your writing; I hope it goes well.



  1. Ah, yes. I know so many people (myself included!) who get mixed up with this one.

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  2. Everytime you post these grammar rules, I feel that you are staring straight at me. Lulz.

  3. Nowadays in some countries, 'well' is used in a rather different way. Like how my friend said of our outing the other night, "having a well wicked time!" in other words, "a good time". hehe

  4. I think I know this rule, but I'm going to pay more attention. Sometimes bad habits develop! Interesting comment above about use in different countries.

  5. I've always been decent with Well vs Good. Usually, if I'm confused, I try them both and the one that is correct tends to sound better and the wrong one sounds awkward.

  6. And then there's: "Would you like something to drink?" "No thanks, I'm good." This one always feels wrong to me.