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Are You Describing Adjectives Correctly?

Check to ensure that you're not miscommunicating the degree of an adjective.

You can adjust the degree of an adjective, such as "cold", "easy", or "expensive", by using various words. However, using the wrong word can communicate the wrong meaning and lead to a misunderstanding.

In this lesson you can learn how to avoid that problem by understanding the different strength of words such as "too", "very", "quite" and "pretty", as well as emphasizing comparative adjectives.

Too” with an adjective means that the “amount” of the adjective is a problem.

  • This restaurant is too loud. Let’s go to a different place.

Extremely” is used with certain adjectives to strongly emphasize the high degree of the adjective.

  • Everyone is being extremely careful at public places because of COVID.

Ridiculously” can say that the degree of the adjective is surprising and unusual.

  • These clothes are ridiculously cheap! I can buy a hat, gloves, and a scarf for under $10.

Really” or “Very” with an adjective means that there is a high degree/amount of the adjective.

  • The service was very professional, and the staff were really friendly.

So” with an adjective and the conjunction “that” after the adjective gives a result of the adjective.

  • The game was so exciting that I never sat in my seat.

Quite” and “Rather” with an adjective means that there is a moderate amount of the adjective.

  • The museum display is quite interesting. I think you’d enjoy it.

Pretty” or “Fairly” with an adjective indicates that there is some of the adjective but not as much as the words in #2.

  • The kitchen is pretty clean, but I still need to wipe the counters.

More” with a (long) adjective creates a comparative to use when comparing a noun to another.

  • Salad is more nutritious than pizza.

Far” or “Much” can be added to a comparative adjective to make the comparative stronger.

  • Salad is far more nutritious than pizza.

Far” or “Much” can be added to the word “too” to emphasize it.

  • A Porsche is far too expensive for me. I need to buy something much cheaper.

Not very” can be added to an adjective to emphasize the low degree/amount of the adjective.

  • He’s not very talkative. He only said “hello” to me.

A few important notes from the examples above:

  1. The word "so" is not as common with adjectives as students think. It's mostly used with an adjective to introduce a result with "that". Otherwise, just use "very" or "really".

  2. The words "pretty" and "quite" are not as strong as "very" and "really". If you say "it's pretty good", it is less strong than just saying "it's good".

  3. The words "very" and "really" cannot make a comparative adjective (ex. bigger / more expensive) stronger. You need to use "far" or "much" with these adjectives.

Practice

Put the following words into order from the highest degree (1) to the lowest degree (6).

Very / Too / Not very / Pretty / Extremely / Quite

  1. ______________ (to specifically describe a problem)

  2. ______________ (100%)

  3. ______________ (90%)

  4. ______________ (75%)

  5. ______________ (65%)

  6. ______________ (10%)

Fill in the blank with the correct word from the list in the lesson. Each sentence has an underlined part that gives you a hint about which answer to use.

Too / Extremely / Quite / So / Very / Far / Pretty / More / Not very / Much / Ridiculously

  1. After my flight, I was _______ tired that I fell asleep on the bus on the way home.

  2. If you buy it online and get it delivered, it’s _______ convenient than going to the store to get it.

  3. You shouldn’t travel to Venezuela these days. It’s _________ too dangerous.

  4. The line-up is _______ long. I counted two-hundred people! But I’m going to wait in it.

  5. I couldn't buy the jacket because it was ____________ expensive.

  6. Sam is _________ funny. His stories make everyone laugh.

  7. My English writing is ________ good but I still make mistakes. I want to improve it in the future.

  8. He’s _________ responsible. He’s lost his keys three times now!

  9. I’m glad that I’ve continued my exercise program. I feel ________ stronger than before.

  10. I thought the workshop was __________ useful. I might sign up for another one.

  11. The game is __________ complicated! Most games have just a few rules but it has over 50 rules!

Answers

  1. Too (to specifically describe a problem)

  2. Extremely (100%)

  3. Very (or Really) (90%)

  4. Quite (or Rather) (75%)

  5. Pretty (or Fairly) (65%)

  6. Not very (10%)

Fill in the blank:

  1. So

  2. More

  3. Far/Much

  4. Extremely (Very or Ridiculously are also possible)

  5. Too

  6. Very

  7. Pretty

  8. Not very

  9. Much/Far

  10. Quite

  11. Ridiculously (Extremely, Very, or Too are also possible - but "Too" only if it's a problem)

2 Comments


Thank you for your feedback and support, Lincoln! I'm glad that you find them very helpful!

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These execises are extremely good to memorise these rules.

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