1. lost123
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    lost123 Senior Member

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    the difference between well and good

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by lost123, Feb 19, 2011.

    Hello!
    I want to know, what's the difference between well and good?

    Example:
    Which one is correct


    I speak English very well or
    I speak English very good.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I speak English very well, is correct.

    Good is used for sentences like, The food is good.
     
  3. Silver_Dragon
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    Silver_Dragon Senior Member

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    Agreed.

    Well=adverb (modifying a verb in this sentence)
    Good=adjective (used to modify a noun)
     
  4. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    You might also say 'I speak very good English'. (here 'good' modifies the noun 'English')
     
  5. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    In everyday speech of course, they become interchangeable. For example when asked "How are you?", you may reply "I am well" or "I am good."

    Which is all well and good....:)
     
  6. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    Well... I speak English. That doesn't help once you've dropped the goods down the well, though.

    Sorry. ;) "I speak English very well" is, of course, correct.
     
  7. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    'I am well', is correct.

    'I am good', begs the question - good at what?
     
  8. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, I'm not proposing that "I am good" is technically acceptable, merely that it is widely used in informal everyday speech.

    But thanks for the grammar lesson! ;)
     
  9. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    Rule is better

    well is the ~ly of good.

    Well (the ~ly) says something about the verb
    Good (no ~ly) says something about the noun

    some verbs connect the noun (be, seem, become. ..) so then good is correct.

    I am well => you are healthy (well is connected to 'to be')
    I am good => you are fantastic (good is connected to "I")

    ~ly also applies to say something about an adjective. [I am perfectly right]

    Just how I apply it, having ESL
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    google for 'good vs well'...

    that's the easiest/best way to learn which of any two confusing 'close' words is correct and why...
     
  11. lost123
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    lost123 Senior Member

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    Thanks guys, that was really helpful.
     
  12. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Sorry!

    'I am good' is widely used today and I'd use it in dialogue. But it's one of those modern things that grate on an old brain like mine.
     
  13. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "He bakes cakes well. If he can get hold of the right ingredients he bakes good cakes."
     
  14. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    The thing I like at the moment is:

    "It's well good!"
     
  15. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Only in dialog! (1st person narration counts.)
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    can't even imagine what that's supposed to mean!
     
  17. lost123
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    lost123 Senior Member

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    thank you guys
     
  18. lost123
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    lost123 Senior Member

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    Thank you guys..
     
  19. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    Think it's a uk thing. When kids are talking a film is never good - it's 'well good'
    meaning, I suppose, better than good.

    It's kidspeak - it's not really supposed to make sense!
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    well good like Evelon said means extra good or very good. Its been used since I was at school lol Tha's well good tha'r'is
     
  21. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha, takes me back to my school days...
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's gnarly, guys!

    or, as we said in my long-ago teen years, 'really fab!'...
     
  23. RFortea
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    RFortea New Member

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    Actually, both "I am well," and "I am good" are grammatically correct sentences.

    Though "well" can be adverb, it is an adjective after a copulative verb (any form of the verb "to be").

    The dog is well. I am well. My grandmother is well. It would be well for you to study diligently.

    As you may have notices, well (adj.) tends to be reserved for referring to one's health. It is also used to say that something is advisable or sensible.

    On the other hand, "good" is commonly used to refer to something's general disposition:

    I am good. You are good. The movie was good. My examples are good. Your sex drive is good.

    "Good" is also a colloquial adverb, so you can use it as an adverb in spoken language.

    "Well" can also be an adverb as you can see from all of the examples people have given you.

    Oh, if anyone ever tries to tell you that "well" is correct, because "to be" is a verb, and verbs are modified by adverbs only, tell that person the following:
    You are unintelligently.


    I hope that helped.
     
  24. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    True, but classically "I am well" would be the opposite of "I am ill" and "I am good" would be the opposite of "I am evil". "I'm good" in answer to "How are you" still jars somewhat with me, because it sounds like an answer to what are you, not how are you, but it would be authentic in dialog.
     
  25. RFortea
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    RFortea New Member

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    "I am good" could be misconstrued. I agree.

    I guess that in legal cases, one should say "I am well," to avoid possible being considered pompous. Hehe.
     

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