Difference Between Good and Well

Main Difference – Good vs Well

Good and well are two interrelated words that are commonly used in day to day conversations. When someone asks the question “How are you?” how do you respond? Do you use good? Or well? This is a question many people have. This article will answer this question. In order to find the correct answer to the above-mentioned question, you have to look at the grammatical features of the two words good and well. The main difference between good and well is that good is an adjective whereas well is an adverb. However, well is sometimes used as an adjective as well.

This article explains,

1. Grammar, Meaning and Usage of the Word Good

2. Grammar, Meaning and Usage of the Word Well

3. Difference Between Good and Well – Comparison of Grammar and Usage

Difference Between Good and Well - infographic

Good – Grammar, Meaning and Usage

Good is an adjective. Good has a variety of meanings. But, it generally has meanings such as correct, proper, high quality, beneficial and favorable condition. In other words, good has a very positive meaning. Given below are some example sentences that contain the adjective good; the meaning denoted in each sentence is given within brackets.

He has a good (fine) voice.

Fatty foods are not good (beneficial) for your health.

Have you heard the good (pleasing and welcome) news?

He is a good (morally correct) man.

I’m not feeling good (healthy).

His marks are not good (high standard) enough.

Since good is an adjective, it can be used either in attributive position or predicative position. Attributive adjectives are the adjectives that occur before the noun. Predicative adjectives are the adjectives that follow the noun. Predicative adjectives always follow a linking verb.

Attributive: He is a good man.

Predicative: He is good.

The phrase “I’m good”, is written as a predicative adjective. Although some people assume that this phrase is grammatically incorrect, this is not true. “I’m good” is grammatically correct and can be used as a response to “How are you?” The adjective good also implies good spirits, in addition to good health.

Difference Between Good and Well

Well – Grammar, Meaning and Usage

Well is the adverbial form of good. Well is sometimes also used as an adjective. As an adverb, well indicates that an action is done in a pleasing or acceptable way.

Your team played well.

He sang well.

I knew your brother very well.

She took it very well.

Everyone speaks well of him.

Well acts as an adverb in all these sentences. You can also observe that the verb preceding the adverb well is always an action verb.

People often find the two words good and well confusing, when they occur after verbs. The easiest way to identify the correct usage is to determine whether the verb is an action verb or a linking verb. If it is a linking verb, the correct word is good, if is an action verb, the correct word is well.

However, well can also be used as an adjective. In such cases, the above rule cannot be applied since adjectives follow linking verbs. Well, as an adjective, mostly refer to good health. Thus, saying “I’m well” is also grammatically correct.

Main Difference - Good vs Well

Difference Between Good and Well

Grammatical Category

Good is an adjective.

Well is an adjective and an adverb.

As an Adjective

Good indicates good health and good spirits.

Well specifically refers to good health.


Good follows a linking verb. (when it is used in the predicative position)

Well follows an action verb. (when it is used as an adverb).

Image Courtesy: Pixbay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasanthi is a seasoned content writer and editor with over 8 years of experience. Armed with a BA degree in English and a knack for digital marketing, she explores her passions for literature, history, culture, and food through her engaging and informative writing.