Have you ever been unsure about whether or not “well” can be used as a verb? You’re not alone. The usage of this word can be confusing, which is why we’ve created this guide to provide clarity and guidance on the topic.

Defining “Well” as a Verb

To put it simply, “well” can indeed be used as a verb. It is most commonly used as a linking verb, which means it connects the subject of the sentence to its complement. In this case, “well” is used to describe how something is done or how someone feels, rather than describing what someone or something is.

For example, “I speak Spanish well” or “She is not feeling well.”

Origins and Evolution of “Well” as a Verb

The word “well” has been used as a verb for centuries, albeit less frequently than its usage as an adverb or adjective. In Old English, “weallan” meant “to boil” or “to surge,” which evolved over time to its current meaning.

Despite being considered colloquial or even slang in the past, the usage of “well” as a verb has become more commonplace in modern English.

Common Misconceptions About “Well” as a Verb

One common misunderstanding is that “well” can only be used as an adverb. While it is true that “well” is most commonly used as an adverb, it can also function as a linking verb when used appropriately.

Another mistake is using “good” as a linking verb instead of “well.” For example, saying “I’m doing good” instead of “I’m doing well” is incorrect.

Comparing “Well” as a Verb vs. “Good” as an Adjective

“Well” as a verb describes the manner in which something is done or how someone feels, while “good” as an adjective describes a noun or pronoun.

For example, “That was a good movie” (adjective) vs. “He plays basketball well” (verb).

Tips for Improving Usage of “Well” as a Verb

One way to practice using “well” as a verb is to substitute it with other linking verbs such as “seem” or “appear.” For example, “I seem happy” vs. “I am happy.”

Reading and writing can also improve your overall understanding and usage of the word.

“Well” as a Verb in Literature

The use of “well” as a verb in literature can add depth to character development and enhance the reader’s experience. An example of this can be seen in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” where the character Scout describes how her father, Atticus, “well, they said he just broke his glasses.” The use of “well” in this context adds nuance to the way Scout perceives her father’s reaction.


Despite being a small word, “well” has a big impact on the English language. By understanding its usage as a verb, you can improve your writing and conversation skills. Remember to practice, read, and be mindful of common mistakes, and soon enough you’ll be using “well” as a verb with confidence.

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By Happy Sharer

Hi, I'm Happy Sharer and I love sharing interesting and useful knowledge with others. I have a passion for learning and enjoy explaining complex concepts in a simple way.

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