(DISCOURSE USES)
Well is used mainly in spoken English., Please look at category 13 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.
1 adv You say well to indicate that you are about to say something.
Well, I don't like the look of that.
2 adv You say well to indicate that you intend or want to carry on speaking.
The trouble with City is that they do not have enough quality players. Well, that can easily be rectified.
3 adv You say well to indicate that you are changing the topic, and are either going back to something that was being discussed earlier or are going on to something new.
Well, let's press on.
4 adv You say well to indicate that you have reached the end of a conversation.
`I'm sure you will be an asset,' she finally added. `Well, I see it's just about time for lunch.'...
5 adv You say well to make a suggestion, criticism, or correction seem less definite or rude.
Well, maybe it would be easier to start with a smaller problem..., Well, let's wait and see...
6 adv You say well just before or after you pause, especially to give yourself time to think about what you are going to say.
Look, I'm really sorry I woke you, and, well, I just wanted to tell you I was all right.
7 adv You say well when you are correcting something that you have just said.
The comet is going to come back in 2061 and we are all going to be able to see it. Well, our offspring are, anyway...
8 adv You say well to express your doubt about something that someone has said.
ADV cl (feelings)
`But finance is far more serious.'—`Well I don't know really.'
9 exclam You say well to express your surprise or anger at something that someone has just said or done. , (feelings)
Well, honestly! They're like an old married couple at times.
10 convention You say well to indicate that you are waiting for someone to say something and often to express your irritation with them. , (feelings)
`Well?' asked Barry, `what does it tell us?'..., `Well, why don't you ask me?' he said finally.
11 convention You use well to indicate that you are amused by something you have heard or seen, and often to introduce a comment on it. , (feelings)
Well, well, well, look at you. Ethel, look at this little fat girl...
12 You say oh well to indicate that you accept a situation or that someone else should accept it, even though you or they are not very happy about it, because it is not too bad and cannot be changed.
oh well convention
Oh well, it could be worse..., `I called her and she said no.'—`Oh well.'