Good vs. Well

Hello, my little darlings,

Once again, it’s lunch time at my day job, which can only mean one thing: It’s time for this Fairy Godwriter to blog! Today, we are going to review the subtle differences between well vs. good; because sometimes, when I’m fluttering over our vast universe, I’ll hear someone use the incorrect word, and my blood pressure rises a little bit. And I know you don’t want that to happen to me (if you do, may life exponentially multiply those wishes in your favor).

Background Lesson

In order to understand the difference between good and well, we have to review modifiers. As the word implies, modifiers alters (or clarifies, describes, explains) another word.

If the word modifies a noun, it’s an adjective: “The Pedralbes Gardens are very peaceful.”
In this example, peaceful is an adjective modifying (describing) the Pedralbes Gardens (for those of you who haven’t been to Pedralbes, they’re in Barcelona, and they’re an absolute dream!)

If the word modifies a verb, it’s an adverb: “I walked leisurely through the gardens.” In this example, leisurely is the adverb modifying (describing) how I walked.

Good v. Well

Ok. So now that we’re clear on what is an adjective and what is an adverb, it should be a breeze to understand when to use good and when to use well. 

Generally speaking, good is an adjective: “This sangría is really good.” It’s modifying (describing) the sangría.

“Visiting Barcelona is always a good idea.” In this sentence, good is modifying the word idea, which is a noun.

Well is used as an adverb: “I feel well today.” In that example, “feel” is a verb, and since I’m describing how I’m feeling, I used well.

Always ask yourself what is being described

Sometimes, a sentence will include a word that, depending on the context, could be a noun or a verb: “Make sure to dress well tomorrow.” The word dress, on its own, is a noun. However, when you say: “dress well,” it becomes a verb (i.e. dressing is the action word in the sentence).

“You are a good swimmer.” 
The modifier is describing the swimmer. Swimmer is a noun.

“You swim very well.” The modifier is describing how the person swims. Swims is a verb.

Alright, my little gold nuggets. I hope this clarifies the issue for you. If it doesn’t, then you really need to take a refresher course on basic sentence structure. That will set a good foundation for you to understand most grammar rules.

That is all for today.

Much love,

The Fairy Godwriter

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