!It's All Good and Well


This is because good describes English, and well describes how he speaks it. For some reason, He speaks good English, just sounds wrong, and we want to replace it with He speaks English well. But they're actually equally correct. Let's examine this. You can say, He made a good presentation, which is the same format, just changing the verb and the noun. Consequently, they are both grammatically correct.


Another example of sounding-wrong-but-being-right is:


She did well. She did good.


The first one sounds better, but given their different meanings, they are both correct. She did well has the meaning that she had a good job, made enough money, etc. She did good is better understood as She did good works, such as donating to charity, helping the poor or curing a dread disease.


If you happen to hear the exquisitely non-standard, Ya done good, either the person is being jocular or well, that's just how they talk where they're from.


In terms of placement and word order, adjectives come before the noun, as in a good idea, his older brother, or my grand adventure. Adverbs usually come after the verb and usually end in -ly, as in They ran quickly, She  listened quietly, or He giggled excitedly. Adverbs are tricky little devils, though, and can come before the verb and not end in -ly, as in We often rue the day, It never rains in Southern California, He is quite foolish, or I'll see you later.


To keep it straight in your head, just remember, Well done! and Good boy! And if someone says, I did good, simply ask, Are you Mother Teresa?


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