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Hello!

Could you help me, please?

May I say "I am very well" if somebody asks me "How are you?"?

I thought "well" means "healthy" and would sound funny as the answer to such a question.

At the same time I watched "Pride and Prejudice" (2005) where Lizzy says "Are you well, mr Darcy?" when they meet.

So which is right "I am very well" or "I am very good", or both?

Thank you!

P.S. Mistakenly I posted the same question as an anonymous. Please, answer to my named post. Thank you!

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Maria DMay I say "I am very well" if somebody asks me "How are you?"?

In BrE this is fine if the focus is on health, except that we would normally contract it to "I'm very well", or just "Very well", and often add the word "thanks" at the end.

Comments  
Maria DMay I say "I am very well" if somebody asks me "How are you?"?

It is good English, but here in the US at least it sounds old-fashioned as part of a greeting.

Maria DI thought "well" means "healthy" and would sound funny as the answer to such a question.

It does mean "healthy", and it is therefore a sensible answer.

Maria DAt the same time I watched "Pride and Prejudice" (2005) where Lizzy says "Are you well, mr Darcy?" when they meet.

English has changed a lot since Ms Austen wrote that in 1813. Today we don't usually inquire directly about the state of a person's health as a greeting, and a literal answer like "I am very well" is odd. It's more a polite formula now. If we want to ask about their health, we say something like "How have you been feeling?"

Maria DSo which is right "I am very well" or "I am very good", or both?

I think it's the "very" that makes it old-fashioned. "I am well" is proper English, but "I'm good" is more often heard here despite its ungrammaticality. "I am good" literally means that you are virtuous, given the differences between the adverbial and adjectival uses of each of the words "good" and "well", but people know that you mean "well". "I am well" sounds too formal for everyday use, and "I'm good" sounds illiterate to many, so we say "I am fine" or "Fine, thanks. How are you?"

 GPY's reply was promoted to an answer.