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Department of English Grammar

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Grammar bosses for Gen tl;dr.
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What’s up with “inquiry” and “enquiry”?


We get asked about “enquire" and "inquire" (and "enquiry" and "inquiry”) frequently—both here and on Twitter.


Similarly, “enquire” and “enquirer” are more common in British English, while “inquire” and “inquirer” are more common in American English.



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What’s up with “good” and “well”?

This is a topic that people assume they know about … until they get it wrong. So, just to be safe, let’s go over the difference:

1. “Good" is an adjective and a noun.

2. “Well" is an adverb and an adjective.

Here are simple examples in which “good” and “well” are often used:

  • Jim dances well.
  • Jim is a good dancer.

In this post, we will focus on the situations in which “good” and “well” become confusing, namely after linking verbs:

We use “good” after linking verbs such as be, taste, sound, smelllook, seem, and feel if we want to describe the subject, not the action of the verb:

  • That episode of “How I Met Your Mother” wasn’t good at all.
  • The answer choice seemed good, but it was wrong.
  • Your suggestion sounds good to me.
  • I feel good this morning. (Translation: I am happy this morning.)


We use “well" after the linking verbs be, feel, look, and seem (not the others listed above) if we want to use the adjective form of “well,” which means “healthy”:

  • Jim feels well enough to go to school today. (Jim is healthy enough to go to school today.)
  • Jake was well yesterday, but he is sick today. (Jake was healthy yesterday, but he is sick today.)


Pay attention to the following sentences:

  • I did WELL. = I did a good job; I succeeded.
  • I did GOOD (noun). = I performed acts of charity and kindness.
  • Jo looks WELL. = Jo looks healthy.
  • Jo looks GOOD. = Jo is attractive.
  • I feel WELL. = I don’t feel sick.
  • I feel GOOD. = I am happy.

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