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Q: I do not feel the difference between “good“ and “well“ in some sentences. Please help. (Ania, 18 y.o.)
A: Good/Well, well, it’s good when you know the difference:
When asked, „How are you doing?” many people will immediately answer, „I am doing good.” Unless they’re talking about the good they’re doing for their community, they should have answered instead with „I am doing well.”
Good and well in the context illustrated above are no doubt two very commonly confused words. Good is an adjective (and a noun in some cases); well can be an adjective or an adverb, but in most cases, it is used as an adverb. In the example sentence, well should be used because an adverb is needed to modify the verb doing. Good is not the most appropriate word to use in this context because adjectives cannot modify verbs.
Perhaps you’ve also wondered, „What about 'I am feeling good ’? Is this correct, or is it 'I am feeling well’?” Here’s where it can get tricky. Both are correct, but isn’t feeling a verb? Yes, but it is a linking verb. Linking verbs are different from other verbs in that they are not performing an action, but are connecting the subject with another word in the sentence. In both sentences, feeling links good and well back to the subject I. Good and well are not adverbs modifying the verb feeling; rather, they are adjectives modifying I, the subject of the sentence. Note that the meanings conveyed are different (feeling good refers to a state of mind; feeling well refers to health), but both are grammatically correct. The same is true when used with other linking verbs such as look. (You look good. You look well.) Looking good refers to attractiveness; looking well refers to health.
You should know that: Good: always an adjective, never an adverb; never modifies a verb but can follow a linking verb and act as a modifier for the subject. Well: adjective or adverb depending on context. When an action verb is involved, an adverb is needed, and well is always the choice, never good.
Q: Is it correct to say „speak to” someone or „speak with” someone? (Bartek, 17 y.o.)
A: When you speak „to” someone, it’s like giving a speech or presentation, even if the someone is only one person. When you speak „with” someone, it means you are having a two-way conversation.
Q: What’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.? (Ania, 17 y.o.)
A: You use i.e. when you mean „that is.” The origin of i.e. is „id est.” You use i.e. when you’re restating the idea (to be more explicit) or expanding upon it. Example: We provide all retailers with the standard discount, i.e., 10%. You use e.g. when you mean „for example.” The origin of e.g. is „exempli gratia.” Example: This book has a number of elements, e.g., punctuation, capitalization, parts of a sentence, and confusing words.
Q: PEOPLE, PEOPLES and person—what is the dfference in these words and when should each word be used? (Andrzej, 25 y.o.)
A: Generally, „people” is the plural of „person.” „Peoples” can refer to a group or groups of culturally defined groups, as in the „peoples of eastern Europe.” The choice between „people” and „persons” is not always easy, though. There used to be a rule that persons is used when speaking of a number of people who can be counted and people is used when speaking of a large or uncounted number of individuals.
Q: When to use perhaps or maybe, or are they just the same in meaning? (Kasia, 16 y.o.)
A: Actually, there is no difference in meaning between maybe and perhaps, but perhaps still has the upper hand in formal settings.
Q: How many irregular verbs are in English? My teacher said there are about 200 of them? (Bartek, 16 y.o.)
A: Well, to tell you the truth there are many more. Exactly 619 of irregular forms of the verbs. Some lists are shorter because they base only on most popular verbs. A lot of my students ask me this question. For those who are interested in a complete list of IRREGULAR VERBS – you can get this at School; just ask me, but remember: there is no need to know all of them by heart ☺. The number of about 300 seems to be enough for most of us.
Q: I heard in the song the word: “awesome”. What does it mean? (Bartek, 15 y.o.)
A: “Awesome” means something that is great or outstanding.
Q: What is “naff”? I couldn’t find it in dictionaries. (Piotr, 18 y.o)
A: Definition for 'Naff’ : something that is 'naff’ is of poor quality or tasteless. The opposite word is „posh”.