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Inflections of the adverb 'well' (Some senses are invariable)

Better adv comparative ; best adv superlative

https://www.wordreference.com/definition/well

What does the dict. refer to by "Some senses are invariable"?

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  • I think the real issue here is not what the correct usage is but whether the dictionary explains itself clearly. I've never used that dictionary before, and I found the description baffling. Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 16:51
  • wordreference is not a real dictionary. Just a mismosh of stuff,
    – Lambie
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 17:14

1 Answer 1

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Some of the usages listed, such as shake the bottle well, cannot be changed to better or best. 'Shake it well' means 'shake it until any sediment at the bottom is mixed in' - we might say "Shake it a bit more", but not "Shake it better".

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  • "Completely and properly", as in Add the lemon juice and mix well. However, "Occasional objections to modifying complete with qualifiers like almost, more, most, nearly, quite, because they suggest that it is relative rather than absolute, but such uses are fully standard and occur regularly in all varieties of spoken and written English." wordreference.com/definition/complete
    – GJC
    Commented Sep 12, 2021 at 17:02
  • If you are implying that you don't like my example, then "I couldn't very well refuse" is another case where well is invariable. Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 7:48

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