Good vs. Well

There was something early on in my marriage that threatened to tear us apart. A small corner of the grammar world that has turned into one of my biggest pet peeves. No… not “you’re vs. your” … or the one I usually am a victim of myself: “it’s vs its.”

The one that people use incorrectly almost every day and never seem to give a care for my poor ears: GOOD vs. WELL.


Repeat after me:

I am good.

I am doing well.

NOT NOT NOT: “I am well” or “I am doing good.” 


Grammar Girl can explain all the particulars in much more detail than me, but trust me on this one.

The nuts and bolts of it are this: “to be” is a linking verb, thus it gets the GOODS. But action verbs, such as to do, to write, to fly, to annoy (me)… they take an adverb WELL.

How about this? We can make the same deal that my husband and I made long ago. When he uses good and well correctly, and I promise to close the shower curtain after I shower. Cool?

What are YOUR grammar pet peeves?

You can tell me. I am sure I do about half of them.

This article has 15 comments

  1. Submommy

    Less/Fewer. Your/You’re. There/Their/They’re. The overuse of exclamation points. Too many elipses. Substituting a text abbreviation for a word (e.g., UR for you are) Oh! E.g. = for example. I.e. = that is to say. I could go on and on.

  2. Ted Stauffer

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Ted Stauffer

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Ted Stauffer

    Shouldn’t it be “they take an adverb WELL.”

  5. Aimee Giese

    Ha ha you got me!!

  6. Mama Kat

    Instead of “good” or “well” I find the word “shitty” works great in both scenarios.

  7. E.J.

    Where should I start? Lol

  8. Aimee Giese

    kat – hahahahahahaha

  9. T

    MIne is “me” vs “I.”

  10. Laura

    “Me” vs “I” is mine too.

  11. Chelsea

    Oh mine is definitely throwing an apostrophe s everywhere. Like There are 3 school’s in the district. There are plenty of nice family’s in the neighborhood. Oh. my. god. cringe. haha! The rule is NOT that hard…

  12. MargieK

    A lot of them bug me. Off-hand, I’d say the one that annoys me the most is probably people using “I” when they should use “me.”

    I’m with “Submommy” on the exclamation points, you/you’re, there/their/their, and “text-speak” (i.e., “u” for “you,” “r” for “are”).

    Furthermore, I hold teachers and journalists to a higher standard, because knowing and using correct grammar is their job. When I would get a note home from my children’s school with these kinds of errors in it, I’d correct them if it was a form that needed to be sent back. It’s one thing if it’s a quick, hand-written note (rarely got those), but quite another thing if it was copied and sent to everyone (implying a little more proof-reading should have been done).

  13. Sizzle


    Ok but really I think it’s the ITS vs IT’S mostly.

  14. Sarah Park

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Matilda Morgan

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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