We use words like very, really and extremely to make adjectives stronger:
It’s a very interesting story
Everyone was very excited.
It’s a really interesting story.
Everyone was extremely excited
We call these words intensifiers. Other intensifiers are:
We also use enough to say more about an adjective, but enough comes after its adjective:
If you are seventeen you are old enough to drive a car.
I can’t wear those shoes. They’re not big enough.
Intensifiers with strong adjectives:
Strong adjectives are words like:
enormous, huge = very big
tiny = very small
brilliant = very clever
awful; terrible; disgusting; dreadful = very bad
certain = very sure
excellent; perfect; ideal; wonderful; splendid = very good
delicious = very tasty
We do not normally use very with these adjectives. We do not say something is "very enormous" or someone is "very brilliant".
With strong adjectives, we normally use intensifiers like:
The film was absolutely awful.
He was an exceptionally brilliant child.
The food smelled really disgusting.
Intensifiers with particular adjectives:
Some intensifiers go with particular adjectives depending on the meaning of the adjective:
I’m afraid your wife is dangerously ill.
Some intensifiers go with particular adjectives. For example we use the intensifier highly with the adjectives successful, intelligent, likely and unlikely:
He was highly intelligent.
but we do not say:
We had a highly tasty meal.
We use the intensifier bitterly with the adjectives disappointed, unhappy and cold:
I was bitterly unhappy at school.
You need to use your dictionary to find what sort of nouns these intensifiers go with.
Intensifiers with comparatives and superlatives:
We use these words and phrases as intensifiers with comparative adjectives:
|much||far||a lot||quite a lot|
|a great deal||a good deal||a good bit||a fair bit|
He is much older than me.
New York is a lot bigger than Boston.
We use much and far as intensifiers with comparative adjectives in front of a noun:
France is a much bigger country than Britain.
He is a far better player than Ronaldo.
We use these words as intensifiers with superlatives:
The blue whale is easily the biggest animal in the world.
This car was by far the most expensive.
Adjectives as intensifiers:
We use some adjectives as intensifiers with nouns:
He’s a complete idiot.
They were talking utter nonsense.
but we do not say:
The idiot was complete.
The nonsense they were talking was utter.