Improve Your English Vocabulary with 10 Great Alternatives to “Good”

Are you tired of always saying “good”?

Maybe you’d like to try some new English vocabulary words instead?

Using new vocabulary might not make you more popular or happier…

…But it probably will make you smarter, and also improve your ability to communicate—which can lead to many other good things!

The English vocabulary word list below shows 10 great alternatives to the word “good.”

If you’re an ESL student who wants to improve their English vocabulary, this post is for you.

If you are an individual English learner looking to learn advanced English vocabulary, this post is also for you.

If you are an ESL teacher looking for ESL vocabulary word lists, this is especially for you.

This isn’t just a list of synonyms.

After reading the descriptions and examples we have below, you’ll be able to move beyond just describing everything as “good.”

Looking forward to using more vivid and creative ways to describe people, places and experiences that you enjoy?

Let’s get started!

Improve Your English Vocabulary: 10 Great Alternatives to “Good”

Before we get this awesome party started, let me tell you about a cool place where you can find all these words and more: FluentU.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

With FluentU you’ll be able to learn every word in context. Your vocabulary will jump through the roof in no time! Give it a try for free and see for yourself.

And now, back to our words!


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.


“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.

And One More Thing...

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:


If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.


FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:


FluentU lets you tap to look up any word.

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.


FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more.

The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.

If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.

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