Pretty Good – Meaning & Synonyms

“Pretty good” is an expression that you’ve probably heard several times in the past. Sometimes, it can be hard to discern in what context a particular phrase should be used. Where should you use “pretty good”? And is it better than “good”? This article will answer these questions.

What Does “Pretty Good” Mean?

“Pretty good” is a phrase used to express the fact that you’re mostly good. When you use “pretty good”, you signal that you are doing good, though not entirely good. If you’re “pretty good”, you might have a couple of problems but be good overall.

Pretty Good Meaning

“Pretty good” is, therefore, a very valuable expression. It can help you communicate the nuance of being mostly good, but not entirely good. Mastering the use of “pretty good” is a valuable skill.

This phrase is considered to be slang, and informal slang at that. You should refrain from using “pretty good” in formal situations”.

Here are some example sentences to how to use “pretty good” in a sentence:

  • I am pretty good, even though I sadly just had to postpone my doctor’s appointment.
  • Sounds pretty good, just let me know what day you’ll be available and I’ll make time.
  • It’s a pretty good day outside, maybe we should take the opportunity to actually go out.
  • You’re looking pretty good, I think you just need to clean your shoes and you’ll be set.

Which Is Better: Pretty Good or Good?

Both “pretty good” and “good” are valuable expressions. However, in terms of which state is more positive, “good” is better than “pretty good”. This is because “pretty good” means “good, although with some caveats”. “Good” doesn’t have those caveats, so it expresses a better state of being.

Here are a few examples to showcase the difference between “pretty good” and “good”:

  • She’s pretty good, I think she can improve her technique but she has potential for sure.
  • He’s good, he has a new job and is making a lot of money now.
  • I’m pretty good, my coffee maker just broke so I got a new one, but otherwise I’m good.
  • We’re good, we’re about to leave for vacation tomorrow if you can believe it.

What to Say Instead of “Pretty Good”

Other ways to say “pretty good” are “fairly good”, “decently good” and “alright”. All of these synonyms convey the same thing that “pretty good” does. They’re very valuable, particularly if you want to vary your language and make it more diverse. It’s good to avoid being too repetitive.

1. Fairly Good

“Fairly good” is a great alternative for “pretty good”. By using “fairly good” you’re expressing that you’re doing good, although with a few negative things as well. This is, broadly speaking, the same thing that “pretty good” expresses. By using “fairly good” you’re making your language more interesting.

The use of the word “fairly” is particularly great. Because you’re using “fairly”, you’re implying that you’re comfortable with the state of things. This basically means that you’re not complaining.

Here are some examples to showcase how you can use “fairly good”:

  • I’m doing fairly good, I just arrived home and I am incredibly jet-lagged but I’m ok.
  • She’s doing fairly good, recovery is slow but consistent so I don’t think we can complain.

2. Decently Well

Another phrase that can replace “pretty good” is “decently well”. “Decently well” uses the word “decent” to convey an image of someone doing good, although with a low standard. If someone’s doing “decently well”, that means that they’re not doing amazing, but they’re not doing poorly.

This term is particularly useful when you’re genuinely not doing great, but also not doing badly. It’s a good term because it helps you express the gray areas of life.

These are some examples so you can see how to use “decently good”:

  • He’s doing decently well, I don’t think he loves his job but other than that he’s fine.
  • I’m doing decently well, still looking for a job after all of this time though.

3. Alright

“Alright” is a term that can replace “pretty good” with little trouble. It’s a great term because “alright” expresses the same thing as “pretty good” in just one word. It’s a very valuable and great tool for you to use in conversation with other people.

If someone tells you that they’re alright, you can discern that they are in a middle ground between “well” and “bad”. Therefore “alright” expresses a state that is mostly good, with some disclaimers.

These examples will teach you how to use “alright” in conversation:

  • He’s alright, I think he has been better but he’s also been worse.
  • I’m alright, you have to believe me, I could be doing much worse.

4. Ok

“Ok” is another useful one-word synonym for “pretty good”. In just two words, “Ok” expresses a state that is mostly good, with some complaints. This makes it one of the most appealing synonyms for “pretty good”, and one of the most popular ones.

Saying that you’re “ok” is a good way to quickly communicate your state of being. When you’re “ok”, you’re doing good in a lot of areas, and not so good in others.

Here are some examples of “ok” in use:

  • I’m ok, you don’t have to worry about me so much, really.
  • She’s ok, I think she’ll be out of the hospital by tomorrow morning.

5. Fine

If you’re “fine”, that means that you’re doing well for the most part, with some negative issues. This makes “fine” a great replacement for “pretty good”. “Fine” is one of the most popular ways to express that you could be better, but you’re not doing poorly.

Here are some examples that will show you how to use “fine”:

  • I’m fine, just a little beaten up but doing well otherwise.
  • It’s fine, we’ll fix the bugs and then ship it.