(1) You cook well.
(2) You cook good.

When an adverb follows after a verb as in (1), it sounds, I guess, smoother than (2). Yet (2) would not be not proper for there are predicative adjuncts in English. Do you use (2) expression actually? If you do, ‘good’ might show the subject’s property in the activity of the verb, I guess; so this is the difference from (1)?

1 Answer 1


Number 2 = NEVER!*

"Good" is an adjective, "well" is a verb. We are describing a verb so we must use an adverb, hence option 1 is the only possible option.

This comes from a British English perspective since I know there are differences between this and American English.

  • I can see there is this example in British National Corpus: "You can cook good."
    – Listenever
    Oct 4, 2014 at 13:56
  • Do you mean this?
    – JMB
    Oct 4, 2014 at 13:58
  • Also, take care with searching for this short phrase. I say this because "I cook good food" is a legitimate phrase (good = adjective describing food).
    – JMB
    Oct 4, 2014 at 13:59
  • 5
    @Listenever Good instead of well, with adverbial sense, is very common in the vernacular - "Peralta hits pretty good for a shortstop". But as JMB says, this is not tolerated in even informal writing, except in dialogue or self-consciously 'folksy' expressions like the one you cite. Oct 4, 2014 at 14:19
  • 2
    I think you mean "well" is an adverb?
    – user3169
    Oct 4, 2014 at 17:28

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