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 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.