Adverbs of degree –
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Adverbs of degree

Let’s say we want to use an adjective, but we need to amplify the quality. We can use some intensifying adverbs like:

  • The book you recommended to me was really good.
  • My sister paints very nice.
  • My parents are dead certain to move to another city.
  • My new job is pretty good.
  • He drives extremely fast.
  • I thoroughly enjoyed being part of this project.

Here is the scale of the intensity of these adverbs:

  • The strong ones: extremely, absolutely, altogether, awfully, completely, greatly, highly, quite, terribly, totally, very


  • My parents were extremely angry with me.
  • She was absolutely right about you.
  • My mother was altogether exhausted after a life of working.
  • I called the doctor – your fever is awfully high and you can’t go to school like that.
  • I don’t recognize him anymore. He is completely changed.
  • It would be greatly appreciated if you can help us.
  • You need a highly paid job if you want to buy that house.
  • He was quite different from the others.
  • She was terribly sad when her parents got divorced.
  • Tom felt totally hopeless after he lost his job.
  • That film is very interesting.
  • The moderate ones: fairly, mildly, moderately, partly, quite, reasonably, somewhat


  • I’m fairly sure that’s the right answer.
  • My teacher was mildly surprised to see I didn’t do my homework.
  • His project was only moderately accurate, but it passed.
  • The wall was partly painted with yellow flowers.
  • I’m quite tired but we can go for a walk.
  • Wow, this film is quite amazing.
  • This resort is quite cheap, but the hotels aren’t good. (quite = fairly)
  • Our old flat was reasonably priced for rent.
  • The resort is reasonably cheap, take it.
  • They looked somewhat ashamed for what their son did.
  • Some of the weak ones: a bit, a little, marginally, poorly, slightly.


  • I’m a bit upset about what you did.
  • He smiled a little more when he saw me there.
  • Your grades are marginally better than last year.
  • Our business is poorly managed, things must change as soon as possible.
  • My sister was only slightly injured in the accident.
  • My parents were slightly surprised when I told them I was going to marry Jane.


These intensifying adverbs can also modify adjectives that are gradable so they express degrees of quality. When an adjective isn’t gradable, we don’t use intensifying adverbs, when we talk about:

  • something unique
  • something very impossible

We can use the adverbs “absolutely” or “utterly” in front of a non-gradable adjective to express our feelings:

  • We won absolutely nothing by doing that thing.
  • She was utterly devastated when her mother died.