Improve Your English Vocabulary with 10 Great Alternatives to “Good”
Are you tired of always saying “good”?
Looking forward to using more vivid and creative ways to describe people, places and experiences that you enjoy?
After reading the descriptions and examples we have below, you’ll be able to move beyond just describing everything as “good.”
In addition to being used to describe temperature, “cool” also means very good or fashionable. For example, you might describe stylish clothes as “cool” or a performance by a musician that you really enjoy.
It can also be used to express acceptance when someone makes a suggestion. For example, if someone suggests meeting to go to a movie, you could say “Cool! I’ll see you at 6 p.m.” Like “awesome,” “cool” is a popular expression for younger people, and you shouldn’t use it in more formal conversations.
“Excellent” is used to describe something very good or of high quality. Almost anything you can describe as “good,” you can also describe as excellent. It can be used when speaking to friends, family, or coworkers when you want to emphasize that something is not just ok or good, but very good.
If someone asks “how are you,” you can respond “excellent.” Or, similar to this restaurant review, you could say “Have you been to the new restaurant downtown? The food there is excellent.”
“Wonderful” means great or very good. People can be wonderful, experiences can be wonderful and things can be wonderful. You can use this word in both formal and casual settings.
For example, you could say “The paintings at the art exhibition last night were wonderful,” or “I think you’ll like her. She’s a wonderful person.”
Perfect describes something that is flawless or exactly matching the need in a particular situation.
If you have a very good day and everything happens exactly as you want it to, you could describe it as a “perfect day.” A hotel could be “perfect for families” or an actor in a movie could be “perfect for the role.” If someone suggests an idea that you like, you can say “That’s perfect” or “That sounds perfect.”
The word “fantastic” is used to describe something very good or exciting. It can be used in both formal and informal situations. It’s a very enthusiastic, positive word, so you should say it with some emphasis or exclamation.
For example, if someone asks you about your trip to Thailand, you could say “It was fantastic!”
“Exceptional” means that someone or something is above average. This adjective has a slightly more formal tone, and it’s a good word to use when you want to sound a little more sophisticated.
For example, you could say “I think Italy is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The scenery is exceptional.”
“Terrific” means very good or great. You can use it the same way you use “good.” It’s another very enthusiastic adjective, so only use it if you’re describing something you really like a lot.
You could describe someone’s idea or performance as “terrific,” such as “I’m very happy with the results. She did a terrific job on this project.”
Keep in mind that “terrific” can also be used to describe something very bad depending on the noun it’s paired with. For example, you could also talk about a “terrific storm” or a “terrific explosion.”
“Outstanding” describes something that “stands out” or is noticeably better than the alternatives. An “outstanding” book is better than all the other books you’ve read recently, or an “outstanding” hotel is one of the nicest hotels you’ve ever stayed in. This adjective is appropriate to use in casual or formal conversations.
Note that “outstanding” can also mean “unpaid” depending on the situation. So if you have an “outstanding” bill, it means that you have a bill that needs to be paid, not a “very good” bill.
How do you know which meaning is being used? Context is super important for this. That’s why when you’re learning new words, you should try to learn them in sentences. You can also use immersion programs to see words in different scenarios. On FluentU, for example, you can search for specific words in the program’s library of authentic videos to see how they’re used by native English speakers.
“Pleasant” describes something that is enjoyable or likable. It can be used to describe people, places, or experiences. “Pleasant” is a little less strong than words like “outstanding,” “terrific” or “fantastic” and it can be a good word to use if something was nice, yet not the absolute best thing imaginable.
For example, you could say “We had a nice time at dinner. It was a very pleasant evening.”
Technically, “awesome” describes something that inspires awe or wonder. Typically, however, “awesome” is used to describe people, experiences or places that are very good or impressive.
For example, you could say “I love your new watch. It looks awesome.” It’s an adjective that is particularly popular with younger people, and it’s not an expression that you would want to use in a formal or business situation.
Say goodbye to “good!” Now you have some awesome, terrific, wonderful synonyms to improve your English vocabulary way beyond the basics.