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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



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

Hello Hari,

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

The error in the second sentence is in the first part, which should be 'Martin attempted'.

However, please note that we usually do not answer these kinds of questions (as we do not want to be doing people's homework or tests for them!), but rather questions related to the material on the particular page (this page, for instance, deals with mitigators).

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

We don't agree on anything...
i agree with everything...
what's the difference between 'agree on' and 'agree with'?
Thank you

Hello aarushmom,

'Agree with' can be used in a number of ways, such as:

I agree with John. [a person]

I agree with feminism. [an idea or ideology]

I agree with the death penalty. [a law or rule]

'Agree on' has a narrower range of uses and is generally used when people have chosen something together or are negotiating in some way:

We agreed on a time.

We agreed on that point.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Could you help me please?
Every time that I put the words in order e.g. "I enjoy skiing but it can be pretty exhausting" I get a wrong answer under the number, but two or three green checks under the words. What should I do?

Hello Apollobeach25,

I've just tried the same question myself and it appears to be working fine - I get green ticks (checks) beside the words and on the number at the bottom.  Are you sure all of the words are in the right positions?  If you only see ticks beside some of the words then that suggests some may be in the wrong position.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi! Is this version right too: "I think Nino's restaurant is slightly better than Belini's". And what does it means this sentence: "My sister's got two young children". I can't understand why they're used possessive form of "sister" and I posted it there, because in section "Adjectives" comments are blocked. Thanx in advance.

Hello nopainnogain,

The first sentence is indeed fine.

In the second sentence, they 's is not a possessive form at all, but a contraction of 'has':

My sister has got two young children.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Oh, thank you. Sometimes, those endings became problem.