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What's the difference between "That is not good" and "That is not well"? In what context should each expression be used or does it not make any difference?

Example:

That's not good. He should do the right thing.

and

That's not well. He should do the right thing.

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    The answers on that linked-to question do not answer this question :( – Araucaria Sep 2 '16 at 19:31
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These are the differences:

"That's not good"- correct

"That's not well" - weird

Normally and generally, the word "good" is used to be an adjective (describes nouns) while the the word "well" is to be an adverb (describes verbs).

For example:

I saw (verb) it well. (rather than "I saw it good").

It's a good thing (noun). (rather than "It's a well thing").

But when you are talking about "well" in the meaning of healthy then there is twist and it also describes a noun. For example: "She is well" (she is healthy) or "She is not well" (she is not healthy).

For more information, read here and here.

  • The adjective and adverb bit is the salient point. Good describes something, well tells you how something was done. – D. Nelson Dec 3 '16 at 12:45
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'That's not good.' is a commonly used phrase in English and is correctly used as in your example. It usually used as a statement to show that in the judgment of the speaker some situation or event is bad or sub-optimal. It can also be used as a humorous understatement if the event is really bad.

'That's not well.' is not a commonly used phrase. Although this is not really bad English, it would be more correct to use the statement 'That's not good.' in its place instead.

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