Good vs Well: Difference, Rules and Examples

Good vs. Well–How Should I Use Them? Good vs. Well | Difference, Definitions & Examples

The Difference Between “Good” and “Well” in English

We often hear the words “good” and “well” in English. Everyone also understands their meaning, but has anyone thought about what the difference between them is? You could say that they are synonyms, but in reality, they are used for different grammatical purposes and convey different meanings. The difference between “good” and “well” is that good is an adjective, while well is an adverb. “Good” describes a noun, for example, a good friend, a good book, a good day. “Well” describes a verb, for example, to speak well, to work well, to study well. However, there are cases where “well” can be used as an adjective, specifically when referring to health. For example, I feel well, he looks well. Let’s look at some examples of using “good” and “well” in sentences:

  • She is a good singer.
  • He sings well.
  • This is a good cake.
  • It tastes well with cream.
  • I hope you are well.
  • You look good today.

In this article, we will discuss in more detail the use of “good” and “well” in English, their meanings, grammar, and examples.

Using “Good” in English

Good (Adjective): “Good” is primarily used as an adjective, describing nouns and pronouns. It indicates the quality, condition or desirable characteristics of an object. Example: “She baked a good cake.” In this sentence, “good” describes the quality of the cake.

The word “good” in English can have several meanings and uses. Let’s look at the most popular uses:

  • Good is an adjective that describes a noun. For example, good book, good job, good friend. This means that something is of high quality, correct, suitable, useful or pleasant.
  • Good is also a noun, which can mean goodness, benefit, advantage or goods/merchandise. For example, to do good, for the common good, goods and services.
  • Good is also an adverb used in some expressions, such as as good as, good enough, good for, good luck, good morning. For example, this cake is as good as new, you are good enough for me, this medicine is good for a cold, I wish you good luck, good morning everyone.

The main rule for using the word good is that it modifies a noun, but there are some exceptions when good can modify a verb or another adjective. Here are some of them:

  • Good can modify a verb if it is part of a phrasal verb. For example, to get along good, to make good, to play good. However, this is considered informal or conversational style, and in most cases it is better to use well instead of good.
  • Good can modify another adjective if it is part of a comparative or superlative degree. For example, better, best, worse, worst. This means that something has a greater or lesser quality than something else. For example, this is the best cake ever, he is the worst singer in the world.

What to Remember About Using “Good”:

  • Use “good” to describe the quality or characteristic of a noun. Usually, to understand if we can use “good”, we can ask about the object: “what kind?”.
  • It comes after linking verbs, such as “is”, “am”, “are”, “was”, “were” etc.
  • It can be used before nouns or after linking verbs.


  • “The movie was good.”
  • “He is a good friend.”
  • “The food smells good.”

Using “Well” in English

Well (Adverb): On the contrary, “well” is primarily used as an adverb, modifying verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. It usually indicates how an action is performed or the conditions in which something exists. Example: “She sings well.” Here, “well” describes how she sings, indicating skill or ability.

The word “well” in English also has many meanings and uses. Here are some of them:

  • Well is an adverb that describes a verb. For example, speak well, work well, learn well. This means that the action is performed in a high-quality, correct, successful or satisfactory manner.
  • Well is also an adjective that describes a state of health or well-being. For example, feel well, look well, get well. This means that someone is in good health, looks healthy or is recovering.
  • Well is also a noun that can mean a source, a well, a drill hole or a reservoir. For example, a water well, an oil well, a wishing well.
  • Well is also a part of speech used to start a sentence, change a topic, express emotions, ask a question or agree. For example, well, I don’t know, well, that’s interesting, well done, well, what do you think?, well, that’s true.

The main rule for using the word “well” is that it modifies a verb, but there are some exceptions when well can modify a noun or adjective. For example:

  • Well can modify a noun if it is part of a compound word. For example, well-being, well-wisher, well-read.

What to Remember About Using “Well”:

  • Use “well” to describe the way an action is performed.
  • It often modifies verbs and answers the question “How?”
  • It is often used with action verbs, especially those expressing activity or state.


  • “She dances well.”
  • “He plays the piano well.”
  • “They did well in the competition.”

Key Differences in Using “Good” vs “Well”

Describes the quality, state or characteristic of a noun.Describes the way an action is performed.
Used before nouns or after linking verbs.Used before verbs.
Приклад: “The movie was good.”Приклад: “She dances well.”
Приклад: “He is a good friend.”Приклад: “He speaks English well.”

So, understanding the difference between “good” and “well” lies in recognizing their different roles in English grammar. The words good and well are two related words that are sometimes used as synonyms, but they have different meanings and grammatical roles. “Good” primarily functions as an adjective describing nouns, while “well” serves as an adverb indicating the manner of performing actions. When you are expressing satisfaction, quality or state regarding nouns or pronouns, choose “good”. Use “well” to refer to actions or the way they are carried out. Remember, “I am good” typically indicates a state of satisfaction, whereas “I am well” specifically relates to a state of health.

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