Turn Out “Good” vs. Turn Out “Well”? Correct Version Revealed

When using “good” and “well” as adjectives, it’s possible for things to “turn out” using them both. However, we use “turn out well” much more frequently, and this article will explain all the differences you can expect between them.

Is It “Turn Out Good” Or “Turn Out Well”?

“Turn out good” and “turn out well” are both correct. They work when “good” and “well” are adjectives, meaning we are describing somebody as either “good” or “well.” However, “turn out well” is more likely because we use “well” to mean something is satisfactory.

turn out good or well

Strangely, “good” and “well” are synonymous in most cases. However, “well” is more appropriate as an adjective with “turn out.”

If we want to use “good,” it usually means that we’re saying that something did not turn out “bad” (i.e., like a criminal). It’s not quite as common to come across.

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What Does Turn Out Good Or Well Mean?

Now let’s look a little closer at the meanings of both. This will help us to establish a basic understanding of what you can expect to see from them.

“Turn out good” means that someone or something turned out in a good way when you might have expected them to turn “bad.” “Turn out well” means that something came out in a satisfactory or surprisingly pleasant way.

To help explain the differences more, here are some examples:

  • He turned out good, even though both of his parents were in and out of jail.
  • This cake turned out well!

As you can see, “good” typically works to contradict the adjective “bad.” “Turn out well” works in every other case, where we want to show that somebody or something is “good” or “satisfactory.”

However, “turn out well” also does well to completely replace “good.” Therefore, the following example is possible:

  • He turned out well, even though both of his parents were in and out of jail.

“Well” works in every case where “good” does, but “good” doesn’t work in every case that “well” does.

Examples Of How To Use “Turn Out Good” In A Sentence

Let’s go over a few more examples of each to help you understand more about it. Remember, “turn out good” isn’t the most popular choice, but we can still use it in some cases.

  1. He didn’t turn out good, which is no surprise considering the criminal background his father has.
  2. Surprisingly, even though his whole family were crooks, he turned out good.
  3. You turned out good for someone whose mother abandoned him so aggressively at such a young age.

“Turn out good” works when you want to show that somebody turned out against the adjective “bad.” It’s mostly used as an antonym to show that even though “bad” things happened to them, they are still “good” in their own regard.

We didn’t want to include too many examples above, though, because “turn out well” is better in all of the above cases. You would be much better off using “turn out well” in most, if not all, cases when you want to show how someone turned out.

Examples Of How To Use “Turn Out Well” In A Sentence

Let’s see what makes “turn out well” the superior choice of the two from these examples.

  1. You didn’t turn out as well as everyone hoped you would.
  2. You had a rough upbringing, and yet you still turned out well!
  3. This song turned out well, considering all the difficulties we had getting it released!
  4. You turned out well for a girl out of the rural countryside!
  5. This clay model didn’t turn out well like I’d hoped it would. Oh well, I can always try again.
  6. He turned out well, which says a lot considering his history.
  7. We did not turn out well, and we broke up not long after getting back together.

“Turn out well” works to describe when someone or something was satisfactory or good. We can use it when we didn’t expect someone or something to be as successful as it was, usually because of what we already know about the situation.

Is “Turn Out Good” Or “Turn Out Well” Used The Most?

We’ve already explained that “turn out well” is the best choice in almost all cases. Well, we also have some statistical information that will back this up. It’ll show you that “turn out well” is by far the best choice in English.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “turn out well” is and has always been the most popular choice. It’s not even close, as “turn out good” is trailing behind by quite a large margin.

turn out good or turn out well

We can explain this preference because of how good “well” is as a synonym. It can replace “good” at all avenues, while “good” isn’t good at doing the same thing back to “well.”

For example:

  • Correct: He turned out good, even though his parents were bad.
  • Correct: He turned out well, even though his parents were bad.

Both of the above examples are correct. However, if we flip it, “good” is all of a sudden not correct.

  • Correct: This cake turned out well.
  • Incorrect: This cake turned out good.

Is “Turn Out Good” And “Turn Out Well” Used Differently In The UK And The US?

The same rules are also clear between both American and British English. “Good” is still a much more restrictive adjective, and we can only ever use it to contradict the idea of something else being “bad.”

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “turn out well” is by far the most popular choice in American English.

turn out good or turn out well American English

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “turn out well” is also the most popular choice in British English. The trend lines are almost identical for both languages.

turn out good or turn out well British English

Both American and British English prefer “turn out well” over “turn out good.” It applies to many more contexts.

Turn Out Good Or Well – Synonyms

Finally, let’s look at some synonyms that might be useful to learn for anyone looking to further their knowledge. These alternatives are other useful ways to say that someone or something “turned out well.”

  • Surprised me
  • Succeeded
  • Did a good job
  • Worked hard

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