Scenario: I 'look good' and I 'feel well,' how do I compare the two as being equal?

consider the following two sentences:

"I look as good as I feel" -and- "I look as well as I feel"

I would choose the former, even though I don't 'feel good,' it just sounds right. However, consider these two sentences:

"I feel as good as I look" -and- "I feel as well as I look"

I would still choose the first one!

Is that right? to always use 'as good' in comparisons?


3 Answers 3


This is actually a pretty interesting question. Since the mid 20th century "I look as good as" has become the idiom of choice but it was not always the case. Check out the Google Ngrams below for the two phrases: Usage graph contrasting "I look as good as" (in blue) with "I look as well as" (in red). The latter has many peaks in the 1800-1920 range, then tails off. The former doesn't appear at all until 1905 or so, then has a few peaks that are not quite as tall as the tailing-off red line, then around 1965 it overtakes the red line, flattens out, and stays there. Note that the highest peak of the blue line is at about the same level as the lowest peak of the red line.

I'd say that if you want to sound more modern you should use "as good as" but if you are writing some period fiction you may want to consider using "as well as" for dialogue.


I would say to. Mainly because as well, also means also. So to be clear I'd say as good as.


Comparisons are made only between things that are comparable, even when different senses of the same word are invoked.

The garden looks (/is looking) good. I feel good.

*?The garden looks as good as I feel.

This quarter's figures look good. This soup smells good.

*This quarter's figures look as good as this soup smells.

With feeling and looking (referencing the same person), the drawing of comparisons will usually be safer. 'Good' and 'well' are both being used as adjectives here. Note, however, that 'Sue is looking good' and 'Sue is looking well' mean different things. As can 'Sue is feeling well [not sick]' and 'Sue is feeling good [happy with the way things are in general]'. I think I'd stick with the variants using 'well'; either way round works, but with different emphases.

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