"I did good on the test."


"I did well on the test."

The first example sounds fine to me, and the second a bit pedantic. Is the first example standard American English and, secondly, is "good" a predicate/descriptive adjective in the example given?

  • 3
    “I did well on the test” sounds pedanatic to you? It sounds absolutely, perfectly neutral and normal to me. “I did good on the test” sounds decidedly colloquial or at least informal to me, though. May 31, 2014 at 10:16
  • 1
  • Could one do the test well by penciling in perfect ovals in No. 2 graphite in all the wrong places, thereby failing the test on which he's done well? Admittedly, I'm trying to be provocative and I'd certainly have agreed with Janus Bahs Jacquet when I was in my teens, but I've lived long enough to begin to hear the language evolve. May 31, 2014 at 21:45
  • @MichaelOwenSartin What is evolution and what corruption is largely a matter of opinion. I'm myself not ruling out either.
    – Kris
    Jun 1, 2014 at 5:33

2 Answers 2


It is usual, not pedantic, to say

I did well on the test,

where well is used as an adverb modifying the verb did. On the other hand, good is usually an adjective used to modify a noun. I would not write

I did good on the test

to mean the same thing, except informally, in which case good is used as an adverb meaning well.

  • I don't think this is quite what the OP asked.
    – Kris
    May 31, 2014 at 11:22
  • @Kris Thank you. I am intentionally being provocative, but over the past 50-60 years I've begun to hear things differently. Jun 1, 2014 at 0:55

1 I did good on the test.

I suppose this is heard in American English. About.com has a comment about this sentence. They say "good" is incorrect.


I'm no native speaker and my knowledge of AmE is limited. So I can't say how often sentence 1 is heard and by what kind of speakers. I would say it is a sloppy and uneducated way of speech. But maybe one has to consider it as an Americanism bound to special regions or age groups or to special classes. A sociolect as "my bad"?

By the way, "good" in 1 is not a predicative adjective. Such adjectives are used after linking verbs as to be/to become/to remain etc. "good" in 1 is a wrongly used adjective where an adverb would be correct.

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