General Question

LuckyGuy's avatar

How do I write the statement, "I hope the new parts work as well as they look." correctly?

Asked by LuckyGuy (34872points) June 23rd, 2014

I am writing a work email that will be seen by many. I don’t want to look foolish.
Here’s the background: The parts arrived and look beautiful. I hope they work beautifully, too.
How do I say it correctly or write a sentence that has similar meaning?
“I hope they work a good as they look.” No. Good is an adjective.
“I hope they work as well as they look.” No. They are not sick.

I’m a native English speaker and I don’t have the answer.
Any suggestions?

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34 Answers

dappled_leaves's avatar

You can’t do it that way. Things work well, but look good. They can’t agree perfectly.

I would suggest that you say, “The parts arrived and look beautiful. I hope they work as well!” except that some people will read it as “I hope they also function.” This does not sound like you have a positive expectation.

Perhaps, “I hope they work just as well!” This is probably the best way to word it… and it’s still awkward.

So, it may be better not to try to say what you want to try to say. Why not simply, “The parts arrived and look beautiful. I look forward to trying them out!” Or something similar.

gailcalled's avatar

Or, to take it one step further, check that the parts are indeed working as they should. Is there the slightest doubt that they might malfuntion? If not, then just say that the parts have arrived and will be tested or tried out tomorrow.

You don’t want to write anything that suggests they might not work, particularly with sentences that start out, “I hope…”

longgone's avatar

Haven’t looked at the details, and @gailcalled will know better, but:

“I hope the new parts work as well as their appearance suggests”?

CWOTUS's avatar

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the elegance of two complete sentences, which you have already written:

The parts arrived and look beautiful. I hope they work beautifully, too.

I might, myself, modify the wording slightly: The parts arrived and they are beautifully made; let’s hope their function is as fine as their appearance.

LuckyGuy's avatar

These are great responses. Yes there is a high probability they will not work. I am asking for something very difficult to make.

OK you got me started – and gave me a chance to goof off with purpose. Thanks!

GloPro's avatar

If they will not work because they will malfunction that is one thing. If they will not work because of construction and design of your project that is another. Make sure you don’t come across with the tone of knocking the reliability of function without testing it first. That seems presumptuous and rude.

It would be like saying to a beautiful woman, “Wow, you look great! I hope you aren’t stupid.”

Why imply you expect a flaw? Careful on the wording and implying criticism without merit.

Kardamom's avatar

The parts arrived and look they beautiful. I hope they work as beautifully as they look. I can’t wait to try it out.

The way I wrote it, slightly changes the tone, the part where @GloPro suggests that you are hoping that the girl isn’t stupid or that the parts won’t work, which is kind of negative, because you are mentioning that you have not yet tried it, and you’re kind of pointing out how great the thing is, without the negativity.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Kardamom But they don’t look beautifully.

GloPro's avatar

Why not just say they arrived as expected and in great condition, and you look forward to attempting to complete your project build?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is it already known that they might not work, so suggesting they might not work wouldn’t insult any one? Then just “They look beautiful. I hope they work, too.”

Or, “They’re almost cuter than Dutchess’ avatar! I hope they work as well as Dutchess’ avatar!” OK, that doesn’t make any sense, but that’s OK.

gailcalled's avatar

OP says: Yes there is a high probability they will not work. I am asking for something very difficult to make.

CWMcCall's avatar

If they work half as good as they look we will be golden/on the right track.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ “If they work half as good as they look” is grammatically incorrect.

CWMcCall's avatar

@gailcalled Sorry I forgot a comma

gailcalled's avatar

No. That’s a punctuation issue. You have to say “If they work half as well as they look,...”

CWMcCall's avatar

@gailcalled The OP issue was over what looked beautiful and not having the luxury of seeing this “beautiful” version of said part I chose “good” over “well”, if you wish to inject your grammatical dominance over my comment, have at it. I prefer “good” over “well”...maybe the OP can chime in and award the gold star to one of us.

whitenoise's avatar

Dear sender, I just received the parts and they look great.

I look forward to trying them out and hope it will work out as well as the look of these parts is promising.

gailcalled's avatar

Hits head with hammer.

“No matter who is dominating whom, “good” is an adjective and “well” an adverb, unless discussing someone’s health. No arbitrary choice here,

Good vs. Well, in terms of health

LostInParadise's avatar

In informal speech, good can be used as an adverb, as in “you did good.” I don’t see anything wrong with saying, “work as good as they look.” It certainly gets the point across. I was originally thinking of, “work as well as they appear they will,” but you said that there is a good chance that they will in fact not work, so that is in not what you intend to say.

whitenoise's avatar

“I hope the new parts will work as well as they look good.”

That should satisfy @gailcalled.

In Dutch, one could leave out the word good and the remaining (your original) sentence would still be correct, since the omitted word is still clearly implied by the sentence.
I suspect your original sentence could be a correct English sentence still, for the same reason. The word good was left out as a purposeful, intended literary omission.

longgone's avatar

@whitenoise Something similar would work in German, but your sentence doesn’t feel “right” to me.

@CWMcCall As the OP is asking for “grammatical dominance”, ignoring the issue won’t be of much help.

CWMcCall's avatar

@gailcalled I will respectfully disagree with you. Using your own link, I employed “good” as an adjective to describe the parts looking good.

“She looks good for a 75-year-old grandmother.
She is not looking actively with eyes so use the adjective.

The parts look good as potential replacement parts, not look well. The parts are not living. Look is a linking verb and using good to describe how they look is grammatically correct

gailcalled's avatar

They do look good: in fact, they look gorgeous. No one is debating that. However, they work well. OP used “work” as his primary verb in what was an awkward sentence, the whole point of his question. I am still well with that.

CWMcCall's avatar

@gailcalled The parts apparently look beautiful, how they work has yet to be determined. They then look good not well. As the OP said the parts are not sick, they are “beautiful” hence one would hope they work half as “good as they look”.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@CWMcCall Dude. It just doesn’t work.

The parts look good, but they work well.
The parts look beautiful, but they work beautifully.

@LuckyGuy asked this question because these two phrases do not fit together with a single descriptor. He was asking for a way to express these two ideas in one sentence, and the overwhelming response is that it can’t be done if he wants to be grammatically correct (and he has said that he does). There’s nothing to argue about here.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yikes! I never thought this Q would raise such controversy. :-) I guess that shows it was a legit question.
The email is sent.
I ended up taking the higher, more formal road. I split it into 2 sentences, paraphrasing here: The Parts look beautiful. I can’t wait to try them in the lab.

Not that anyone cares but the parts are in the lab now and we will know sometime next week if they work.

Thanks for your help!

gailcalled's avatar

The easy way out. (Feel free to add your own editorial comments.)

The parts work. Yay.

The parts don’t work. Boo.

Stinley's avatar

I like what @CWOTUS and @dappled_leaves said. i combined them: “the parts look beautiful and I hope they work beautifully. Can’t wait to try them out.”

LuckyGuy's avatar

By the end of next week I’ll know if they are “goers” or “showers.”
Drum roll, please…

DAVEJAY100's avatar

The components should function ‌well, judging by their fine visual quality

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well….good. I think.

CWMcCall's avatar

@LuckyGuy Here is 10 hours worth, play it 25 times and share the results next week!

sydsydrox's avatar

“I hope the new parts work as efficiently as they look”?
“I hope the new parts function, given as good as they look”? (I personally like this one)
“The new parts look good, but I hope they work better than that”?

I know i might be a tad late on this but hey. I tried xD

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