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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > grammar problem    

grammar problem

Russian Federation

grammar problem

Hello, everyone.

The general rule is to use an adjective with the verb to be, not an adverb. I was surprised to see this rule broken in a poem by Piet Hein. Here it is:

Put in a place

where it s easy to see

the cryptic admonishment


When you feel how depressingly 

slowly you climb,

It s well to remember that

Things Take Time.

I would say : It s good to remember... Is it a mistake or do I not know something?

25 Aug 2015      

United States

I would also say "good", but I found "it s well..." also with a quote by Oscar Wilde. Maybe it is an old expression or something special for poems. Maybe some of the native speakers know more about it :)

25 Aug 2015     

United States

Well can be an adjective as well as a noun.
12.   satisfactory, pleasing, or good:
All is well with us.
proper, fitting, or gratifying:
It is well that you didn t go.
I don t use it like in 13, but your example did not sound odd to me. I say It is good or it is advisable. 

25 Aug 2015     

United Kingdom

Id be more interested in finding out why anyone who can read a dictionary would think that well cant be an adjective. 

25 Aug 2015     

United Kingdom

The Oscar Wilde quote is Education is an admirable thing, but t is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Well can be an adjective as Mary and Alex point out, as in How are you?   I am very well . 
Just to add that , I think in this instance, (it is well to remember), it is used as advice or admonition, which is different from it is good to . 

25 Aug 2015     



25 Aug 2015     

[email protected]

 "All s well that ends well".

26 Aug 2015     


Almaz, I d be more interested in finding out why anyone who is supposedly a teacher would  write a comment as impolite as yours.
This forum is a great place to ask all sorts of questions - let s keep it that way!

26 Aug 2015     


Karina, indeed! I was wondering about the same thing. 

26 Aug 2015     


...Same with me, Karina...., but I thought there was some...misunderstanding ??

PS : I love reading all the questions/answers posted here : I learn a lot ! ;-)

26 Aug 2015     

United Kingdom

It isn t a usage you would hear every day; far too formal and maybe a bit archaic. People do use the following, although the meaning isn t exactly the same as it s well to...
It s well worth remembering/going/asking etc...   It s just as well to remember /ask etc...  
By the way, curmudgeon  is an interesting word, although I m not applying it to anyone;-) 

26 Aug 2015     

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