Difference between Good & Well - Vocabulary Confusion in English

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In this lesson we will learn how to use ‘good’ and ‘well’.


The basic difference between ‘good’ and ‘well’ is that ‘good’ is an adjective, and ‘well’ is an adverb. ‘Well’ almost never comes before a noun. ‘Well’ can be an adjective, as in ‘all is well’, or when talking about someone’s health, as in ‘she is well’, but it is more often used as an adverb.

Eva: Hi, everyone! Today we’ll talk about ‘good’ and ‘well’. They are different because ‘good’ is an adjective, and ‘well’ is more commonly used as an adverb.

Joe: Right, Eva. Here is an example: ‘It’s good to look at the ancient manuscripts which are preserved well in the Museum.’

Eva: That’s right. ‘Good’ is used to describe a thing, a person or an object. For example: ‘The Alchemist is a good book.’

Joe: Yes. And ‘Kennedy was a good man.’

Eva: Good example. On the other hand, ‘well’ is used to speak of a verb.

Joe: That’s it, Eva. When someone does something that is correct or positive, we say: ‘Well done!’

Eva: Yeah. That’s why I can say that ‘Adele sings very well.’

Joe: Good example! The adjective ‘good’ is used in general to describe that someone or something is pleasant, enjoyable, is of high quality, is successful, is kind, or to show satisfaction, like when we say: ‘Oh good! You’ve arrived!’

Eva: I think that’s it! Good job, Joe. Let’s listen to conversations with different examples and contexts.

Conversation: #1

Thomas: How you doing Nancy?

Nancy: I am doing well! What about you Thomas?

Thomas: I am good!

Nancy: How was the expo?

Thomas: It was good! The oil paintings were painted very well.

Nancy: I knew it! The students from the School of Design are brilliant!

Thomas: Yes. Their teachers are very good. I’d say they’re the best professional painters.

Conversation: #2

Joe: Good professionals are hard to find.

Eva: You’re right. I have to hire an assistant and can’t find a good candidate.

Joe: Really? What kind of person are you looking for?

Eva: Well, I need someone who is good at math, and has good computer skills.

Joe: Eva, I’m your man! I’m very good at math and I work well with others!

Eva: I think that’s a good idea! I know you well, and I can trust you. Let’s schedule an interview. What’s a good time for you?

Joe: How about tomorrow morning?

Conversation: #3

Nancy: How are you, Thomas?

Thomas: I’m good. The hospital is well equipped with the latest in technology.

Nancy: How are the doctors? Do they treat you well?

Thomas: The doctors are good, too. They’re very good to me.

Nancy: That’s good Thomas. Hope you feel well soon.

Thomas: Thanks, Nancy. I’ll probably be here another week.

Nancy: Do you want me to bring you a good book?

Thomas: Nancy! You’re such a good friend! Thanks, but I can’t read very well without my glasses…

Nancy: If you want, I can read to you a little every day. I read really well!

Thomas: Oh good! That’s a good idea! Thanks, Nancy!!

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