Question from English4Today member Lauren in the USA:

What do you make of people using the word “real,” as in “he did real good,” (yes, I know that “good” is also incorrect)or, “real simple”?

Answer:

This is often heard in the USA in spoken English and is an accepted form in spoken American English but not in written American English.

In terms of strict ‘grammatical’ correctness it should be, of course:

  • He did very well ..
  • Really simple …

However, spoken English has a way of perverting the course of grammar rules and conform more to local, regional or national patterns of usage!

In the United Kingdom and Australia, for example, you would not use this either in spoken or written English.

Have a look at the article in the Online English Grammar about the different varieties of English.

Anthony Hughes
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