I know good normally is an adjective ("[object] is good"), and well is normally an adverb ("[activity] is performed well"). But quite a few times I've seen good used in place of well. For example, you can be feeling good.

When is good applicable as adverb? Is the vice-versa situation possible?

2 Answers 2


As kiamlaluno tells you, it is non-Standard to use good where an adverb is called for.

However, there's nothing wrong with using it with feel. Feel is ordinarily used as what grammarians call a copula: its complement is a quality attributed to the subject, and is therefore an adjective, not an adverb:

I feel pretty! Oh, so pretty! I feel pretty and witty and bright!
I feel really, really stupid.
I'm feeling pretty bad today.

And (again as kiamlaluno tells you) “I feel well” means you don't feel sick, but healthy.

If you use feel with an adverb you are probably employing it not as a copula but as verb of physical action. “I feel badly” means your tactile sense is impaired.


Good is informally used as adverb, to mean well, as in the following sentences:

Her mother has never cooked this good.

She is feeling pretty good.

Well is used as adjective, to mean "in good health" as in "I don't feel very well, today."

  • Keep in mind that even though it is informal, it is NOT grammatically correct.
    – Squazic
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 23:15
  • 2
    @Squazic: That may be true of kiamlaluno's first example. But it's certainly not true of the second, as StoneyB explains. You wouldn't say that She felt hot should actually be She felt hotly, would you? Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 0:48
  • @FumbleFingers You are using felt there as a linking verb, which is an entirely different story.
    – Squazic
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 1:51
  • @Squazic: Rubbish. In this context, there's no difference between she feels and she is feeling. And casting it in the past tense makes no difference either. Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 1:55
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers Ah, it seems I misread that sentence. Good and well in that second sentence can mean slightly different things though.
    – Squazic
    Commented Jan 25, 2013 at 2:21

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