I trying to understand when should I replace the expression "I like" for the phrasal verb "It goes down well".

Apparently, the expression is used to say that something works and/or get a good reception.

However, I got a phrase that uses this phrasal verb in a kind of replacement of "I like (it)", if I understood it right.

Using "I like":

I like comedy movies.

Using "Goes down well":

Comedy movies goes down well to me.

My questions are:

  • Is this a correct use for the expression "goes down well"?
  • Can I always use the second form when I want to say that i like something?

go down well is generally used in spoken English when it is already clear to both speaker and listeners who in particular appreciated something and/or you don't want to specify who. For example, if you attended a lecture, you might afterwards say to one of the other members of the audience

I think that went down well

this would mean that you got the impression during the lecture that the audience as a whole enjoyed the lecture.

If you do want to specify who appreciated it, the correct preposition is with.

I think that went down well with the audience

This NGram gives a good indication of the situation in written English: about half of the usages have a with phrase, but only a very small proportion are with me.

The usage you propose is therefore correct, but unusual.


"Goes down well" is not a commonly-used expression, and I wouldn't use it for comedy movies.

If you really insisted on knowing the right way to use this phrase to express your fondness for a particular movie genre, you could try something like:

I like many kinds of movies, but comedy movies go down especially well.

(Notice how, because movies is plural, we change the singular goes to the plural go.)

The phrase is a figurative speech for food or drink. If some particular kind of food "goes down well," it means you enjoy it while you eat it, and going down in this context refers to swallowing.

Although I can appreciate you wanting to expand your vocabulary, I'd be very careful with this phrase. For one thing, the phrase "go down" can be used in many different ways, and the phrase "go down on" means to perform oral sex on someone.

I would stick with variants of words such as enjoy:

I find comedy movies very enjoyable.

There are some synonyms on your original link, too. I like "have an impact on":

Comedy movies have an impact on me.

But you would only want to use this phrase if comedy movies were more than just enjoyable, but had some kind of effect on your life somehow.


No, they are not interchangeable.

I like...

Explains how you feel about something.

(It) goes down well
It is very compatible with

Expresses how something relates to something else

For example,

I like cold cokes.
A cold coke goes down well with a hamburger.

Whatever you do, do not say

I like Sarah.
Sarah goes down well...

Since going down is slang for oral sex.

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