Good vs. Well | Difference, Definitions & Examples
Good and well are two related words that are sometimes used interchangeably, but they perform different meanings and grammatical roles.
- Good is an adjective meaning “favorable” or “praiseworthy.”
- Well is an adverb meaning “in a satisfactory manner.”
|Examples: Good in a sentence||Examples: Well in a sentence|
|Phil’s new car gets good mileage.||Darren’s team played well, but they still lost the game.|
|The protagonist of the film is not believable; in reality, no one is that good.||I may not be rich, but I live well.|
|Arianna is a good teacher, albeit a little impatient.||The app functions well, but it needs some improvement.|
What does good mean?
Good can be used as an adjective meaning “suitable” or “praiseworthy” and a noun meaning “welfare” or “that which is morally right.” It can also be used to place emphasis on something (e.g., “a good bit of work”).
Good is also commonly used in colloquial speech as an adverb synonymous with “well.” However, this should be avoided in formal contexts such as academic writing, as it’s generally considered nonstandard.
What does well mean?
Well is an adverb meaning “in an effective or satisfactory manner.”
Well can also be used as an interjection to introduce a remark, a noun referring to a hole used to reach a supply of water, a verb referring to the act of rising to the surface and flowing (often used figuratively), and an adjective referring to a state of good health.
Doing well or doing good
Doing well is a phrase meaning “in good health” or “successful.” People sometimes use “doing good” in everyday speech to mean “doing well.” However, this is considered informal or incorrect and should generally be avoided in writing.
Well and good
Well and good is part of the expression “that’s all well and good.” It’s used in contrast with a following clause to say that while things may seem fine, there may be unexpected consequences or unresolved issues. In this context, both words are used as adjectives.
Worksheet: Well vs. good
You can test your understanding of the difference between “well” and “good” with the worksheet below. Fill in either “well” or “good” in each sentence.
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Frequently asked questions
- What is a synonym for good?
- What is a synonym for well?
- Is it “going good” or “going well”?
Going well is a phrase meaning “proceeding in a satisfactory way.” People sometimes use “going good” to mean the same thing, but this is technically incorrect. While “good” is sometimes used as an adverb in everyday speech, this should be avoided in formal contexts.
This is also the case for doing well and “doing good.”
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