How to use Good Vs Well (20 example sentences with audio)

Good Vs Well – Simple answer. Good is an adjective so it will be used to modify nouns.
– The movie was really good. (Movie is a noun)
Well is an adverb so it will be used to modify verbs.
– My final exam is tomorrow. I hope I do well. (Do is a verb)

Good Vs Well

The words good and well can be easy to confuse for people learning English as a second language. I have helped my students with this vocabulary and I hope this blog post can help you in the same way.

My teaching method to explain grammar has always been with lots of natural examples. Using real examples is a great way to remember new grammar and also be ready to use it in your own conversations. I know this method will help you too.

Good – Meaning

On the website Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries dot com there are 23 meanings for the adjective GOOD. 

Here are some of the basic synonyms for the more common uses, and the meanings we will focus on in today’s post. Remember that adjectives are used to modify nouns, they’re describing a person, place, or thing. (The modified noun will be bold)

High quality – The food at this restaurant is really good. 
SkillfulBrad is not good at baseball. 
Favorable – This hotel has a good reputation.
Pleasant – These flowers smell good. *NOTE – We use the adjective GOOD with verbs that describe our senses. LOOK, TASTE, SMELL, SOUND, and FEEL.

The verb in our last example is SMELL but we are describing our experience of the smell of the flower not the action of smelling. 

We use adjectives not adverbs for these sensory verbs to describe an experience.

  • Those cookies look delicious.
  • They taste good too. 
  • Your plan sounds good. Let’s try it.

Well – Meaning

They’re only six ways to use the adverb WELL listed at Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries dot com.

We will look at the common meanings. Remember that adverbs are used to modify verbs, they are describing an action. (The modified verb we be bold)

In a good, right, or acceptable way – The team played well in the championship game.
Completely and properly – German Shepherds are great dogs if you train them well.  
To a great extent or degree – Mark was in my class but I didn’t know him very well.

I’m good vs I’m well

It’s natural to hear a native speaker answer the question “How are you doing?” With “I’m good, thanks.”

We can also use well as an adjective to talk about our health.
“How are you doing?”
“I’m well, thanks.”

“My Uncle is not well, he has been in the hospital for the last 3 days with stomach pain.”

I’m good and I’m well are both fine in conversation.

Good vs Well comparative

Adjectives and adverbs have a comparative form. Good and Well both have irregular comparative and superlative forms, but the good news is that they are the same!

Comparative and superlative forms

goodbetterbest
wellbetterbest

Comparison is used to talk about two things.

  • I think the book is better than the movie. (comparison of GOOD – book Vs. movie)
  • I feel much better today. (comparison of WELL- today Vs. before)

The superlative is used for three or more things.

  • There are many cafes in town, but I like Much Mocha Cafe the best. (Much Mocha Cafe Vs. all the other cafes)

*Adverbs can be used to modify adjectives, often a verb in its past participle form, to make a compound adjective. Well is often used in these compound adjectives.

  • My dog is well trained. He can do many tricks.

These compound adjectives are where we often see the superlative of WELL.

  • Dylan was the best dressed man at the meeting.

Compound adjectives are sometimes written with a hyphen.

  • Dylan was the best-dressed man at the meeting.

GOOD and WELL can be further modified with the adverbs very or extremely.

・How are you today?
– I’m very good, thanks!
– I’m very well, thanks!

20 Examples with audio (for listening practice)

GOOD – 10 Natural sentence examples

  • All we ever really need is good friends and good food.
  • My uncle gave me his old car but it wasn’t in very good condition.
  • You’re doing great, keep up the good work!
  • I got the test back and unfortunately, the results were not good
  • I’m reading a really good book right now. I can’t put it down! 
  • Being a positive person is a good way to make friends. 
  • Do you want to hear some good news?
  • We planned a big picnic for tomorrow. Cross your fingers for good weather.
  • My son is not very tall but he’s a really good basketball player. 
  • Steve has always been a good friend.

WELL – 10 Natural sentence examples

  • Tonight is my weekly poker. If I play well and get good cards I might win some money. 
  • The kids all behaved well.
  • Well done!
  • Gregory’s project is not going well.
  • No one likes to get bad news but Elaine is taking it well
  • I’ve been driving this car for 16 years. I’m so happy I bought it. This was money well spent. 
  • The shoes look cool but unfortunately, they don’t fit well
  • Good night everyone, sleep well.
  • I don’t think your plan was very well-thought-out. 
  • Stacy looks great, she’s always very well-dressed.

Good vs Well quiz

Good vs Well worksheet

Download the Google Quiz as a PDF printable worksheet. Great for ESL teachers to use in class.

Good vs Well infographic

Good vs Well infographic

More posts that help answer some of your confusing English questions.

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