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What is the difference between “good” and “well”

Okay, I actually have no idea when it's okay to say well or good but once again I vaguely remember a rule about them and I don't want to sound ignorant anymore or have that memory haunt me whenever people ask me how I'm doing.

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marked as duplicate by waiwai933 Jun 10 '12 at 17:41

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What is the rule you vaguely remember? –  Vincent McNabb Aug 13 '10 at 8:38
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The part I remember is that you have to be careful about using well and good. Something about "I've been well" vs. "I've been good". –  tooshel Aug 13 '10 at 22:13
    
Here's how to remember: If you are not good, Santa will bring you coal. If you are not well, he will visit you in the hospital. Sorry for the culturally narrow mnemonic. –  Tolerance72 Jul 9 '12 at 15:37

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

From a grammar perspective: You use well when you need an adverb, and good when you need an adjective. That's the big difference.

Use well to talk about how, or in what way something is done:

  • The house is well built.
  • The dinner was well prepared.

Use good when to talk about a noun or pronoun. A good person, place or thing:

  • She is a good doctor.
  • The dinner was good.
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Well is also an adjective: he was not a well man. –  kiamlaluno Aug 28 '10 at 18:24
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Yes, in the sense of health, which is different to the sense of the original question. –  Concrete Gannet Mar 25 '11 at 2:00

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