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Doing Good vs. Doing Well: Exploring the Distinctions

Doing Good vs. Doing Well: Exploring the Distinctions

For non-natives, both phrases “doing well” and “doing good” seem to have the same meaning, while the reality is the opposite. 

Doing good refers to the good deeds you do. When other people are getting benefits from your actions, you’re doing good. While “doing well” means your life is going smoothly without any mental or physical disturbance. 

Many individuals aren’t aware of what to say in the reply to “how are you doing”. Therefore, many non-natives usually reply “good”, let me tell you that it can change the context completely.

Remember that there’s a wild difference between doing good and doing well. 

Let’s have a look at some examples:

  • I’ve been building a shelter for homeless people.

You’re doing good.

  • I heard you’re admitted to the hospital. How are you feeling now?

I’m doing well. 

There are a few differences that you need to focus on to be an expert in English. 

In this article, I’m going to differentiate some everyday English phrases that will help you sound more native.

So, let’s get into it… 

Doing bad and doing badly

The word “bad” is often confused with “badly”. The fact about “badly” is that it is used when you talk about a manner in which something is done. 


You write badly. 
She talks badly.
She screamed badly. 
Examples of Badly

On the other hand, the word “bad” doesn’t refer to the action of a thing but the thing itself. 


The cake smells bad.

You look bad in this costume.

Nothing seems bad. 

  • Bad (adjective) 
  • Badly (adverb) 

As far as you’re concerned about the difference between doing bad and doing badly, here’s a detailed explanation. 

“Doing bad” can be said in response of some bad or malingering act of a person like stealing is doing bad on a persons’s part. Whereas if someone is saying “doing badly” it merely indicates that the other person isn’t feeling well. It states your well-being. 

What’s better while responding to “How are you doing?” instead of “Good”?

What is a better way of responding to "How are you doing?" instead of "Good"?
English Book

English is such a diverse language that you can use different expressions in a reply to a question every time. Interestingly, ” how are you doing” is such a question. 

Here are possible answers you can use in response to “how are you doing”:

  • Best day (Wednesday/Friday) of my life
  • So far, so good.
  • Not too bad!
  • Vertical, taking in oxygen.
  • Another day in paradise.
  • Alright
  • I’m unwell.
  • Pretty good.
  • Doing the best I can.
  • Can’t complain.
  • Surviving
  • Better than I was.
  • Relatively fine.
  • I’m amazing.
  • I’m not dead yet.
  • Same as I was yesterday.

Can I say going well “for” me instead of “with” me?

Both phrases are relatively the same, though there can be a slight difference in connotation. 

If life is going the same as it was going before, and nothing exciting has happened lately, you can say “things are going well with me”.

In other cases, when you’ve been experiencing something unusual, “things are going well for me” is more suitable. For instance, if your partner accepts your proposal, you get admission to your desirable institute. 

The phrase “going well for me” has another meaning, you can also use it when things are going well for you but not for other people around you. 

Though, there’s no grammatical error in both the phrases. 

In English is it possible to use, “things go well” instead of “things are going well”?

In English is it possible to use, “things go well” instead of “things are going well”?
English Grammar

The sentence “Things go well” seems incomplete, and something will come after to make sense just like in present indefinite tense where you are talking about routine matter and usual happenings. While “things are going well” is a sentence that means everything is going well for now. It shows your present progress state. 

These examples will clear your viewpoint:

Things go well with McDonald’s. 

Things go well when you put the effort to accomplish something.

Things go well if you don’t get distracted by negative comments.

Your friend – How is your job going?

You – Things are going well. 

Is it correct to say “I hope everything is going well for you”?

When speaking English, it’s worth noting that context is as important as grammar. It isn’t necessarily important that everything you speak leaves a positive impression on the other person. 

“I hope everything is going well for you” isn’t only too long but also seems less friendly.  Alternately you can say:

  • I hope you’ve been doing well
  • Hope things have slowed down for you
  • Hope all is well
  • Hope you’re okay
  • Hope you’re doing well
  • Is there anything I can help you with?
  • Call me whenever needed 

You can also watch this video to learn some other ways to say “I’m fine”


  • There’s no grammatical mistake in “doing good” and “doing well”. But they’re used in different scenarios.
  • Doing good is suitable when the other person is doing something for a good cause. E.g; doing something for the welfare of society.
  • “Doing well” refers to personal well-being. When your health, job, and life are going great, you could say “doing well”. 
  • As you probably know, English is a diverse language and there are multiple ways to say the same thing. Therefore, there are different alternatives to “doing well”. 

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