When I talk to Indians on line, I have the impression that they use the expression (compound verb?) "to do well" a lot. Is it only an impression of mine, or is that expression more frequently used in India?


Apparently, the Indians I have read or talked to use it to mean "to be successful", "to grow economically", vel simila. Examples:

Indian shuttlers will do well at Rio http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/badminton/Indian-shuttlers-will-do-well-at-Rio-Prakash-Padukone/articleshow/49661452.cms

Will ISL and HIL help India do well internationally http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/sports/will-isl-and-hil-help-india-do-well-internationally/articleshow/49170068.cms

Indian market doing well, reflects fundamentals of cos, not economy: Adrian Mowat, JP Morgan http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-03-20/news/48402221_1_adrian-mowat-em-growth-indian-equities

Usually, I don't hear or read other English speakers besides Indians using that expression. I am not a native anglophone and don't have any idea if that is an idiomatic expression in the whole anglosphere (where I have been in person only during 3 or 4 days when visiting London).

Naturally, with "more frequently", I mean "more frequently than in other places".

  • 2
    You need to include full context. Otherwise, your question is too broad or primarily-opinion-based. Please edit your question.
    – user140086
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:13
  • 1
    Can you give a sentence where this is used?
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:14
  • 1
    More frequently than where? It's possible that it's used more frequently in India than in some places, but more frequently in other places than in India.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:19
  • 3
    Is the Kolhapur Corpus available online anywhere? That might be a starting point.
    – choster
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:23
  • 1
    @LeonardoCastro Can you give a full sentence here in your question? Don't make us search for it, make it easy for us to answer your question.
    – Mitch
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 22:48

2 Answers 2


Personal thoughts

As a native Brit, "to do well" sounds perfectly normal to my ear; I suggest it is a generic English phrase, rather than a particularly Indian-English phrase.


  • Random example of the phrase, from an education website, whose contributors appear to be based in the USA:

Her child is in a local public school and without prompting from me she added “he’s doing well” to the end of her statement.

prosper, bloom, flourish, thrive


My personal thoughts are borne out by evidence: "to do well" is a generic English phrase, rather than a particularly Indian-English phrase.


Some fervent discussions in the comment thread. Interesting to read!

To answer your question - YES, To do well is a commonly used phrase in InE. It is associated mostly with performance (like performance in sports, performance of stock markets, performance in academics and the likes, as you have referred in your examples). However, it might be an Indianism which sounds odd to native speakers(where to do well means something entirely different). For instance, there are quite a number of Books to crack competitive exams and interviews that are titled

  • How to do well in CAT

  • How to do well in GMAT

  • How to do well in Job Interviews

etc. in the Indian Book Stores. Implying, how to score higher grades or how to crack job interviews, performing well.

Here's a Ngram for "to do well" which shows that it is a regularly used term

In my personal view, searching in google(in domains like CA, AU, DE apart from IN) with the term "How to do well" fetches a lot of relevant results, indicating that the phrase might be an acceptable usage in other geographies as well.

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