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All well and good?

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First, a bit of grammar!

  • Adjectives describe nouns (and pronouns).
    The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
  • Adverbs mainly add to a verb, telling us how/when/where.
    The fox ran quickly.

Some adjectives (not all!) can be turned into adverbs, simply by appending -ly.

  • quick, quickly

Adverbs can also be applied to adjectives and other adverbs.

  • The fox ran quickly. (‘quickly’ modifies the verb ‘ran’; explains how the fox ran)
  • The fox ran very quickly. (‘very’ modifies the adverb ‘quickly’; explains how quickly)
  • The fox ran away very quickly. (‘away’ modifies the verb ‘ran’; explains where the fox ran)

Now, to ‘good’ and ‘well’. Concentrate …

  • ‘Good’ is an adjective:  Jack is good at his job.
  • ‘Well’ is an adverb – given in answer to the question ‘how?’: Jack did the job well.

It gets more complicated!  For the senses (looking, smelling, tasting, feeling) check who/what is doing the looking, smelling, tasting, feeling.

Use ‘good’ if it’s describing a noun ie is being used as an adjective.

  • Jane is looking good today.
  • The dinner is smelling good.

Use ‘well’ if it’s describing the act of looking, smelling, tasting, feeling.

  • Jane felt well enough to return to work.

Another tip:

  • If the question is about emotional well-being, use ‘good’.
  • If it’s about physical health, use ‘well’.

How are you?

  • I feel good.
  • I am well.