GrammarPhile Blog

Right Words, Wrong Words

Posted by Julie DeSilva   Feb 14, 2012 5:30:00 AM

Good - well. Good is an adjective. Well is typically used as an adverb but may be used as an adjective to refer to the state of someone's health.

  • Marie got good grades in school. (Adjective)
  • I will do the job as well as I can. (Adverb)
  • He admits he does not feel well today. (Adjective)
  • The guards look good in their new uniforms. (Adjective)
  • I'm doing good, I guess. (Incorrect, unless you are describing your work for, say, the Salvation Army!)

To say someone looked good is a bit confusing at first, but looked is a verb that often takes a predicate adjective, for example, it looks cold, not it looks coldly.

If - whether. If is often used colloquially for whether in such sentences as "He doesn't know whether he will be able to leave tomorrow." In written material, especially more formal prose, use whether in such expressions as see whether, learn whether, know whether, and doubt whether. Also use whether when the expression or not follows or is implied.

  • Find out whether (not if) this format is acceptable or not.

Graduated - was graduated. Both forms are acceptable. However, use from after either expression.

  • My daughter graduated from Baylor University last year. (Not: My daughter graduated Baylor University last year.)

Source: The Gregg Reference Manual

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Topics: adverbs, adjectives

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