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#GrammarTrivia: ‘Good’ vs. ‘well’

Good vs. Well.JPG

When we meet somebody, we frequently ask or are asked how we are doing. To those questions, we often response with, “I’m good” or “I’m well.”

You might have wondered which one of those phrases is correct.

In this #GrammarTrivia article, we are going to discuss when to use ‘good’ and ‘well.’


Describing ‘good’ and ‘well’

‘Good’ is an adjective. We use it to describe noun as ‘pleasing’ or ‘of acceptable quality.’


  • “This sandwich is really good.”

‘Well’ is an adverb, used to describe an action that is done in a pleasing way.


  • “Jonah plays the violin really well.”

Thus, when telling about an event or action, we use ‘well.’

More examples:

  • “My day had been going so well prior to her call.”
  • “I get along well with my colleagues.”
  • “You sing very well.”


‘Good’ as adverb

What could be a little confusing now, fellas, is that ‘good’ can also work as adverb in informal speech or writing.

For example:

  • “The prescription works good with my diet. The new trainee is doing really good. “(informal)

However, please be reminded that the above sentence is informal. For formal use, ‘well’ will fit better.

For example:

  • “The prescription works good with my diet. The new trainee is doing really well. “(formal)


‘Well’ as adjective

At the same time, using ‘well’ as an adjective can also be acceptable. For example, somebody is asking us about how we feel after we recover from an illness.

Q: How are you? I heard you were admitted to the hospital.
A: I’m well now, thank you very much. Just a bad case of dehydration.

In this context, using “I’m well” is more suitable since it is more specific than ‘good,’ indicating that the speaker is in good health condition.


Is there any other examples in which ‘good’ and ‘well’ confuse you, fellas? Feel free to drop a comment!


Compiled and written by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 29 August, 2016


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#GrammarTrivia: Well

Apa kamu sering menggunakan kata ‘well’ dalam lisan/tulisan? Tahukah kamu bahwa ‘well’ memiliki beberapa arti dan fungsi? ‘Well’ bisa berfungsi sebagai: adverb of manner, linking adverb, adjective, ataupun idiom. Berikut penjelasan lebih lengkap…

‘Well’ sebagai adverb of manner

Adverb of manner adalah kata keterangan yang menjelaskan bagaimana sesuatu dilakukan. Adverb berfungsi menjelaskan verb (kata kerja), seperti pada contoh berikut:

  • I speak English well.
    • ‘Well’ menjelaskan verb ‘speak.’

‘Well’ adalah irregular adverb dari adjective (kata sifat) ‘good.’ Semua adverb berasal dari adjective. Misal: ‘well’ berasal dari adjective ‘good.’ ‘Well’ berarti dilakukan dengan baik.

‘Well’ adalah lawan kata dari ‘badly‘ yang artinya dilakukan dengan buruk. ‘Badly’ adalah regular adverb dari adjective ‘bad.’

‘Well’ sebagai linking adverb

Linking adverb adalah kata keterangan penghubung yang sering kita gunakan untuk memulai kalimat/pertanyaan. Misal:

  • Well, how are you today?

Di sini ‘well’ juga digunakan jika kita perlu waktu untuk menjawab:

  • Well, I’m fine I guess.

Selain itu, ‘well’ juga digunakan ketika jawaban kita mungkin tidak seperti yang diharapkan/diinginkan lawan bicara. Misal:

  • A: This food is good!
  • B: Well, mm, yes, but it’s expensive.

Dalam percakapan di atas B sepertinya tidak terlalu setuju dengan pernyataan A.

‘Well’ sebagai adjective

Sebagai adjective, ‘well’ berarti dalam keadaan sehat. Biasanya digunakan setelah ‘be’/’feel’.

Lawan kata dari ‘well’ adalah ‘ill‘ (sakit). Keduanya digunakan untuk menjawab pertanyaan yang dimulai dengan ‘How?’. Contoh: …

  • A: How are you?/How are you feeling?
  • B: I’m well./I feel well./I’m feeling well.


  • A: How are you?/How are you feeling?
  • B: I feel ill./I’m feeling ill.

‘Well’ dalam idiom


  1. “as well” (berfungsi sebagai adverb)
  2. “as well as” (berfungsi sebagai preposition/conjunction).

Reminder: preposition = kata depan; conjunction = kata sambung.

‘As well’ dan ‘as well as’ keduanya memilik arti yang sama dengan ‘dan,’ ‘juga,’ ‘begitu juga‘ (also, in addition, too). Contoh:

  • A: She speaks English.
  • B: Yes, Mandarin, as well.

Contoh lain:

  • She speaks English, as well as Mandarin.

So.. How well do you understand the word ‘well’? I hope you understand it well enough!

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on Monday, May 21, 2012

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