Good or Well?

What is the difference between good and well?

This page is about whether to write "I am good" or "I am well". It is about the use of good and well as adjectives.

The sentences "I am good" and "I am well" are both grammatically sound. Good and well can both be used as adjectives. For example:


The adjective good means of a fair or high standard.



The adjective well means in good health.


Should I say "I am good" or "I am well"?

Both are correct. In these sentences, good and well are both adjectives.

Confusion arises because many people believe an adverb must follow I am, and they know that well is the adverb of good.

In the sentences "I am good" and "I am well", the verb is am. This is a linking verb, and a linking verb is typically followed by an adjective or noun (called the subject complement). For example: Read more about linking verbs.

Be Careful When Following a Linking Verb with an Adverb

The question of whether to use an adverb or an adjective also arises with other linking verbs, particularly to smell, to look, and to taste. For example: Here are some examples of adverbs being used incorrectly after linking verbs:

A Trick to Help with Good and Well

A good way to determine whether you need the adjective good or the adverb well is to use the word quick instead. If you find yourself drawn to quickly, then you need well (as both are adverbs). However, if you find yourself drawn to quick, then you need good (as both are adjectives).

A Quick Test

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See Also

What are adjectives? What are adverbs? What are nouns? What are linking verbs? List of easily confused words