main menu

Pages



WELL DONE! is something you say to indicate that you are pleased that someone has done something well and give them praise for that. You did that well! Good work! Good for you!

"Excellent speech. Well done, Julia!"

When 'well done' is used as an exclamation or a freestanding form of praise it is not hyphenated. 

"'Daddy! I came second in history'—'Well done, sweetheart!'" 

A JOB WELL DONE means that something is performed accurately and diligently; carried out successfully or satisfactorily; executed with skill and efficiency, etc.

"Our thanks go out to the crew for a job well done."

A well-done research paper that received a perfect score, a well-done review that is comprehensive and thorough, or a well-done movie deserving an Academy nomination are all examples of a job well done.

"Well done is better than well said. [Benjamin Franklin]

If something that you have cooked, esp. meat, is well-done, it has been cooked thoroughly.

"Well-done steaks will be very firm to the touch."
"How would you like your steak, sir?" "Well done." 

There's a bit of inconsistency in the way style guides and dictionaries approach a well-known problem: hyphens with 'well-' words. 

"Could I have the steak very well done please?"

You normally need to hyphenate 'well-done' if it appears before the noun it describes, i.e. when it's a predicate adjective: a well-done story/a well-done project/ well-done visual effects, etc.

"Well-done steaks have no redness or pinkness to it."

When a compound adjective appears after the noun i.e. when it's postpositive, it is normally not hyphenated. 

"Allow an extra 10-15 min if you prefer lamb well done."

However, when a modifier that would be hyphenated before a noun, occurs instead after a form of the verb 'to be', the hyphen is usually retained. 

"Excuse me, this steak is well-done. I ordered it rare."

That said, it is quite common to leave the hyphen out in all the cases mentioned above. No wonder and, maybe, no big deal, bearing in mind that it's hard to pin down clear rules for hyphenation in English. 

"Well done steak will be very firm to the touch." 

On the other hand, hyphens, when used correctly, may help make sentences look less cluttered. 

"Well-done steaks are normally charred on the outside."

Omitting a hyphen will look esp. awkward if 'well-done' is modified: a very/really/rather well-done tourist attraction; an extremely well-done deepfake/a remarkably well-done survey, etc.

"It is an exceptionally well-done analysis."
reactions :

Comments