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Mitigators

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

quite

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
rather
slightly
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

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Mitigators 2

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Comments

It is very interestinq and very funny.

Hi everyone!
Could  you help me with this, please?
Which one is correct  "it was much really too bad." or "it was really much too bad." ?  Greetings from Peru.

Hi guys, can we say decreased slightly or it is more correct to say slightly decreased?
Like for ex.  "The number of patients decreased slightly last month, before going up again this month"...

Hello Alex!

Slightly is an adverb of manner, which describes how something happens. Adverbs of manner usually go after the verb, unless you want to make the adverbial more important. That's when you put it before the verb. In short, decreased slightly is more usual, but they are both correct. Our adverb order page has more details.

Hope that helps!
 
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Jeremy

Hi!
 i cant view the exercises, it says something about the java script being turned off. i don't know much about computers, please help

Hi Adoh,
Welcome to LearnEnglish! From your description of your problem, I think it's probably something with your computer. Maybe try using a different web browser (for example, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome) or find someone who knows a little about computers to help you.
Best wishes,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

hi Adam,I asked a question a few days ago about using of "and"or ","between adjectives in sentences ,but I did not get any answers .It s really confusing for me  .please help me to understand it .
thanking you in advance for your help.
the best wishes.

hello haleh . I am fresh .I want to you meet

Hi .I have a question ,but Ii is not about this part.In two below sentences why we should put comma or and between adjectives in one of them and in the other one we should not?
It was a short and easy exam.(It was a short ,easy exam.)
I built a red brick wall.
and in this one:
a beautiful and big garden
Is and or comma necessary here or not?I would be obliged if you  explain these confusing things to me .

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