“Good” in Advanced English: 18 Words You Can Use Instead
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.”
When something is described as “acceptable,” it means that it meets the minimum requirements or standards. It means that something is “ok” rather than necessarily “good.”
It’s a word commonly used when you want to show approval without being overly critical or negative about something. While it may not be amazing, it is considered enough for the given purpose or situation.
For instance, you could say, “Although the presentation was acceptable, it could have been more engaging with better PowerPoint slides.”
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.
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.
“Exceptional” means that someone or something is well 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.”
“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 with “Excellent.” Or you could say “Have you been to the new restaurant downtown? The food there is excellent.”
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!”
“Favorable” is used to when talking about a positive outcome. It’s often used to describe conditions, circumstances or opinions that are good or beneficial for a situation or person.
The word is a little bit more formal and probably wouldn’t be used in everyday conversation.
For example, you can say, “The weather forecast looks favorable for the conference next week.”
“Great” is a versatile word that expresses a high level of approval or admiration. It’s a word that you’ll hear in both casual and formal situations.
It can be used to describe things, experiences or people. When something is labeled as “great,” it generally brings out positive feelings and enthusiasm.
For instance, you could say, “I had a great time at the concert last night!” or “Stephen is such a great person.”
“Marvelous” is an expressive word that conveys a sense of wonder and being amazed at something. When something is “marvelous,” it goes beyond being just good. It can be a little old-fashioned and is not used as often as the other words in this list.
For example, you might say, “The chef prepared a marvelous three-course meal that delighted all the guests.”
“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 language learning 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.
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 say, “It was 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.”
“Positive” describes something that is optimistic, favorable or beneficial. In personal interactions, a “positive” attitude reflects an open-minded approach, willingness to support others, and a hopeful outlook even in challenging circumstances.
For example, an employer could say, “Her positive attitude and hard work led to a successful outcome in the project.”
When something is “satisfactory,” it means that it meets the required expectations or standards. While it may not be exceptional, it is enough to fulfill the intended purpose or achieve the desired results.
It’s also a synonym of “acceptable” and would be used more in formal situations, like at work.
For example, you might say, “The service at by the catering company was satisfactory, but it could have been more attentive.”
“Superb” is a word used to describe something of exceptional quality, excellence or brilliance. It shows a level of superiority and admiration, going beyond the usual level of goodness.
For instance, you could say, “The ballet performance was superb , leaving the audience in awe of the dancers’ skills.”
“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.”
“Terrific” means very good or great. 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.”
“Valuable” means that something is very important to someone who owns it or wants it.
It can refer to both things that you can touch or not. Something can be valuable because it’s expensive or it because it has special meaning, connected to memories or emotions.
For example, you might say, “The antique vase she inherited from her grandmother is not only beautiful but also very valuable.”
“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.”
Say goodbye to “good!” Now you have some awesome, terrific, wonderful synonyms to improve your English vocabulary way beyond the basics.