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  1. "The most common quality of greatly good people is generosity, and the most common quality of people who can't be greatly good is intolerance." — Ahsanul Irfan

There is a quote by William Shakespeare where he used the word "greatly good":

He is not great who is not greatly good

Can I also use the word "greatly good"?

  1. "The most common quality of great good people is generosity, and the most common quality of the people who can't be great good is intolerance." — Ahsanul Irfan

  2. "The most common quality of people who are great by being good is generosity, and the most common quality of people who can't be great by being good is intolerance." — Ahsanul Irfan

  3. "The most common quality of people who are great by doing good is generosity, and the most common quality of people who can't be great by doing good is intolerance." — Ahsanul Irfan

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    Shakespeare also has Fluellen (in Henry V) say "Yes, my conscience, he did us great good" - but here good is a noun. He means that God helped the English to win the Battle of Agincourt. Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 9:47
  • @KateBunting OK, but can I use the word how I have used it? and what about my 2 and 3? Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 10:47
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    As WS2 says, good is an adjective in your sentence (2), so it needs an adverb. Greatly good isn't wrong, but it isn't idiomatic in modern English. People would be more likely to say 'very or extremely good'. (3) means that being good makes those people great - is that what you want to say? Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 11:02
  • @KateBunting I don't think "being good makes them great" OK. I have added another one (4). What about "great by doing good" Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 11:09
  • Well, that means the same as (3) - they are great because they do good. Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 13:15

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Good is an adjective and hence would normally be qualified by an adverb, in the same way we say someone is a "thoroughly good person".

We talk of "heavily large responsibilities" etc.

There are exceptions to this, such as colours which are qualified adjectivally - "a deep purple waistband", "a limpid blue sky" etc.

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  • I have added another sentence which is number 4. Is that OK? Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 11:11
  • @Ahsanulirfan That's ok but as Kate says the word "good" in this instance is being used as a noun, and were it being qualified (which it isn't) an adjective could be used such as "great" i.e "...by doing great good".
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 16:00

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