English Grammar Rules: Good or Well?

I’ll never forget my 7th-grade Language Arts teacher telling us that we “could never do anything good.”

Yes, it seems a bit harsh, but it’s true, and it’s the method she used to help us understand when to use WELL and when to use GOOD.

WELL – an adverb, which describes HOW something is done.

  • Shelley rides really well. (Describes how she rides.)
  • Chad paints so well that his teacher is recommending him for the scholarship. (Describes how he paints.)
  • Would you say she writes well? (Describes how she writes.)

GOOD – an adjective, which describes a NOUN (person, place, thing, idea, or concept).

  • The lasagna is so good. (Describes the lasagna.)
  • The writer is better than good; he’s fabulous! (Describes the writer.)
  • It was a good website that had up-to-date information. (Describes the website.)

GOOD and WELL:

  • It was good plan, and it was carried out well. (Good describes the plan, and well describes how it was carried out.)
  • She’s a good architect, and her work is well received. (Good describes the architect, and well describes how her work is received.)

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