She does so many things well

Can I say “she does well on many things” or “she does well in many things” to express the same meaning with the title sentence?

Thank you!

“she does well on many things” (no)
“she does well in many things” (yes, but it doesn’t sound as natural to me as the original wording)

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I believe depending on local dialect people would say either of these but both are unnatural and the first one is just wrong. The original wording is best.

“She did it well” might be the “prototype” of the original sentence “She does so many things well.”
I imagine that “do something well” and “do well …” have different meanings.

“He is doing very well at school.”
I found this sentence in my dictionary. In this case, the phase “at school” does not seem to be necessary.
“I am doing well” seems to be a set phrase without referring to any specific activities.

“He did well in the examination.”
I found this in another dictionary.

He did well in / on the exam.

“She does well on/in so many things.”
I don’t know if this expression is natural.

She is so good at so many things.

If you do something well, that means you’re good at it. If you’re good at something, that means you do it well.

It covers more bases to say that someone is “good at” something (or in some cases that someone is a good [whatever]) than to say that they do something well.

For example, you might say, “she is good at lying” or “she is a good liar,” but you wouldn’t normally say, “She lies well” or “She does lying well.”

She is good at cooking. She is a good cook. But not: She cooks well. / She does cooking well.

She is good at drawing. She is a good artist. But not: She draws well. / She does drawing well.

She is good at math(s). She is a good mathematician. But not: She does mathematics well.

She is good at graphic design. She is a good graphic designer. But not: She designs well. She does designing well.

She is good at talking to people. She is a good talker. But not: She talks well. She does talking well.

She is good at tearing people down. But not: She tears people down well.

Usually only in the abstract or in making a general statement does ‘well’ work. For example:

She is good at this sort of thing. She does this sort of thing well.

Unless you’re making a statement using a very common title, such as “She is a good cook” or “She is a good tennis player” or “She is a good singer,” I think that saying someone is “good at” something is generally the best choice, because there is less restriction on the description that follows:

She is good at…

She is good at taking care of other people.
She is good at explaining things.
She is good at finding out the truth and investigating.
She is good at her job.
She is good at drawing comic book characters.
She is good at playing the dumb blonde.
She is good at so many things.

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  1. “He can sing very well.”
  2. “He is a very good singer.”
  3. “He is very good at singing.”

Does inserting “can” before the verb make a difference?
How about this? “He can lie (very) well” instead of “He lies (very) well”.


Not really no.

“she does well in many things”
seems more natural

There’s also “such a good.”

“He’s such a good singer.”

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Yutaka, the difference is minimal in your example, but usually the proper phrasing is dependent on the action.
The “can (x) well” construction is best suited for “binary” actions, those that you simply can or cannot do. Better: “She can speak English very well.” Worse: “She is very good at speaking English.” Generally, native English speakers are not “good” at speaking English -no large difference in talent or skill is involved above a certain threshold, so we usually just say that someone “can” speak English.

The latter construction, “very good at (x)” is better for actions where talent is involved or there is a larger difference in skill. Better: “She is very good at soccer.” Worse: “She can play soccer very well / she plays soccer well.” Better: “She is very good at schoolwork.” Worse: “she can do schoolwork very well.” Because even people that play soccer or do schoolwork regularly can have very different levels of skill or talent in those activities, we sometimes say that people are “good” at them.
Hope that clears things up.

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It’s not.