Well is more widely used as a discourse marker than in
fact or actually. As we can see from the examples above
and below it is very widely used to indicate that we are about to
say something. It is sometimes used to give the speaker more time
So how much do you want for your 1999 Renault? ~ Well,
I was thinking of £2,500.
So how do you propose to furnish the house? ~ Well, I thought
we might invest in some second-hand furniture.
Well is also used to introduce a statement which indicates
that expectations have not been fulfilled:
You know I said I thought I might go skiing with Jamie this
year? Well, I'm not going to now.
How was the tennis lesson? ~ Well, in actual fact, we forgot
Well can also be used to soften corrections or criticism:
You live in South Kensington, don't you? Well, Pimlico,
You do like my yellow dress, don't you? ~ Well, yes, it's
quite nice. But I think the blue one would have suited you more.
Why didn't you give Bob a lift back home? ~ Well, how was
I supposed to know he was at the match?
I couldn't find my way to the music centre. ~ Well, why didn't
you ask me?
Well can also serve to introduce important information:
You know I've been seeing a lot of Eddie lately? ~ Hmm. ~
Well, we're going to get engaged.
If you say oh well, you are saying that you accept the situation
as it is, even though you are not very happy about it:
I'm afraid you'll have to pull out of the trip to Greece. ~
Oh well, it doesn't matter.
I'm afraid I forget to save that document and now I've lost
it. ~ Oh well, it can't be helped. I'll just have to re-type