Strong Adjectives and Intensifiers

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Sometimes it’s not enough to say, “It’s cold here,” since the temperature literally freezes everything. In such cases, you would say “very cold” to emphasize your feelings. The word “very” is an example of an intensifier. In this article, you will learn various intensifiers, their role, and rules for usage.

What are Intensifiers?

Intensifiers are adverbs or adverbial phrases that empower the adjective or adverb they modify, making the meaning stronger or more forceful. Common examples include "very," "extremely," "absolutely," and "incredibly." These words can transform a simple statement into one brimming with emotion or emphasis, turning "happy" into "incredibly happy" or "cold" into "extremely cold."

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Rules for Using Intensifiers

Usually, intensifiers follow such common rules:

  1. Match with modifiable words. Intensifiers should be used with adjectives or adverbs that are capable of being intensified. For instance, absolute adjectives such as "perfect" or "unique" typically do not pair with intensifiers since their meanings are already at their maximum.
  2. Positioning. Generally, intensifiers are placed directly before the adjective or adverb they modify. For example, "She is highly skilled in negotiations."

Here are some examples of using intensifiers in different contexts:

  1. Absolutely fascinating! I couldn't put the book down for a second.
  2. She was completely exhausted after the marathon, unable to take another step.
  3. The movie was utterly disappointing; it didn't live up to the hype at all.
  4. He is incredibly talented at playing the violin, captivating every audience.
  5. The test was surprisingly easy, unlike what we had anticipated.
  6. Her performance was remarkably brilliant, earning her standing ovations.
  7. They were totally unprepared for the snowstorm that hit the city.
  8. The view from the top of the mountain was breathtakingly beautiful.
  9. His apology was genuinely heartfelt, making everyone forgive him immediately.
  10. The car was ridiculously expensive, way beyond what I would ever consider paying.
  11. She felt deeply moved by the kind gesture from a stranger.
  12. The recipe was unbelievably simple, yet the dish tasted amazing.
  13. He ran exceptionally fast, breaking his previous records.
  14. The room was painfully quiet, making the tension even more palpable.
  15. Their new house is enormously spacious, with more rooms than they know what to do with.

While intensifiers can make your language more vivid, overuse can dilute your message or make it seem exaggerated. Choose moments for emphasis wisely. Select the most appropriate intensifier according the feeling that you have. For example, “absolutely fascinating" carries a different weight than "somewhat interesting." 

Unveiling the Power of Strong Adjectives and Intensifiers

List of Strong Adjectives

Strong adjectives are those emphasizing the feeling without additional words. For example, instead of saying “very big,” you can say “enormous.” Firstly, such adjectives help to convey your emotions precisely. Secondly, they enrich your vocabulary, so it will be easier to avoid repetetive sentences. Here are some of adjectives with intesifiers and their one-word equivalents.

Adjective with IntensifierOne-Word Equivalent
Very coldFreezing
Very hotScorching
Very importantCrucial
Very cleanSpotless
Very dirtyFilthy
Very happyEcstatic
Very sadHeartbroken
Very tiredExhausted
Very scaredTerrified
Very funnyHilarious
Very interestingFascinating
Very fastLightning-fast
Very slowSnail-paced
Very expensivePriceless

Remember that the list is non-exhaustive. The more you learn, the more words you will find to describe different feelings and emotions.

Conclusion

Intensifiers, when used appropriately, can significantly improve your English communication. They allow you to convey not just information, but also the intensity of your feelings, making your speech and writing more dynamic and vivid. By understanding and applying the guidelines and tips shared here, you can master the art of emphasis, transforming your English language skills into a more effective and impactful form of expression.

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