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Level: intermediate

Mitigators are the opposite of intensifiers. When we want to make an adjective less strong we use these words: fairly, rather, quite

By the end of the day, we were rather tired.
The film wasn't great, but it was quite exciting.

and in informal English: pretty

We had a pretty good time at the party.

Be careful!

Level: advanced


When we use quite with a normal adjective, it makes the adjective less strong:

The food was quite bad.
(= The food was bad but not very bad.)

My nephew is quite clever.
(= My nephew is clever but not very clever.)

But when we use quite with a strong adjective, it means the same as absolutely:

The food was quite awful.
(= The food was absolutely awful.)

As a child he was quite brilliant.
(= As a child he was absolutely brilliant.)

Level: intermediate

Mitigators with comparatives

We use these words and phrases as mitigators:

a bit
just a bit
a little
a little bit
just a little bit


She's a bit younger than I am.
It takes two hours on the train but it is a little bit longer by road.
This one is rather bigger.

We use slightly and rather as mitigators with comparative adjectives in front of a noun:

This is a slightly more expensive model than that.
This is a rather bigger one than that.

Mitigators 1


Mitigators 2



Question 7 is worded differently in Tasks 1 and 2.
Is the wording in Task 1 correct?

Hello kaniraj,

The wording in question 7 is Task 1 was incorrect. I've now corrected it so that it's the same as in Task 2.

Thanks very much for pointing this out to us and helping us improve LearnEnglish!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,

Can I use "rather a (/ a rather) + adjective + noun"? For example: I think it is rather a (/a rather bad behavior.
Or isn't it possible and do we have to use "rather" only with adjective?

Thank you in advance.

Hello Uyanga3,

Yes, you can use 'rather' in this way - yours is a rather fine question. Please note, however, that 'behaviour' is an uncount noun in English, so it's not grammatical to speak of 'a behaviour'. You could say instead 'a rather bad attitude' or 'rather bad behaviour', for example.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi team,

Is it possible to use the "updation"(update), I've had saw this kind of usage in some places but don't think this is a right one, if then what else can be used instead of it.

Thanks in advance

Hi Sanover,

The correct term would be 'update', and there is no real alternative which is in common use. This is a flexible term: it can be a noun (an update) or a verb (to update something).

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, thanks for your help in advance,is this sentence correct?

I think nino's restaurant is slightly better than Belini's.



Hello Sir,

Can you please explain the radical concept of phrase and help me to learn deeply.

Thanks and Regards,
Hari prasath.T

Hello colonyhari,

We're very happy to help you learn but I'm not quite sure what you mean by 'the radical concept of phrase'. Could you explain or - better still - provide an example so we can understand exactly what you mean? In general when asking questions on LearnEnglish, the more specific and concrete the question is, the more we will be able to help you with our answers.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello peter,

Thanks for reply. For example

(Phrase error)

The yoga session "is most likelihood to start at" 6.00 a.m

The yoga session "is mostly liked to start at" 6.00 a.m

The yoga session "is most likely to start at" 6.00 a.m

which one is correct


(Error spotting)

Martin would attempt (1)/ to open the umbrella (2)/when her spectacles slipped off (3)/ and fell down(4).

which one is wrong

To identify these error what should I learn. Please give me your valuable suggestions.

Hari prasath.T