Learn English – When to use “Well” or “Good”


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Why do so many people get this wrong? “How are you? / I'm well.”

How would you answer the question "How are you?"

I'm well.


I'm good.

I notice that in American English, the latter is normally used, but I feel that the former is grammatically correct.

Same goes for questions like "How did it go?" Can one answer "It went well," or "It went good."

Which is correct?

Best Answer

One key difference is that "well" can be an adverb and "good" cannot, at least not formally. This is why "it went good" is grammatically incorrect. However good is so often used as a synonym for well in vernacular English that dictionaries may mention its nonstandard equivilance.

To answer your first question, it's usually preferred to say "I am well" in formal English because it specificially means "I am in good health" whereas "I am good" doesn't have that specific association. "I am good" is grammatically correct though.

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