Intensifiers make our language stronger or more descriptive. We use them to add emotion or detail to our language. We can put them before adjectives or other adverbs. Sometimes, these are called adverbs of degree.
Look at these examples of intensifiers.
- It is a little hot. (+)
- It is kind of hot. (+)
- It is pretty hot. (++)
- It is very hot. (+++)
- It is extremely hot. (++++)
Here are the most common intensifiers that must know and what degree of strength they show.
|a little (+)||kind of (+)||somewhat (+)||sort of (+)|
|pretty (++)||fairly (++)||quite (++)||rather (++)|
|very (+++)||really (+++)||so (+++)||too (+++)|
|extremely (++++)||incredibly (++++)||unbelievably (++++)||awfully (++++)|
We can use these with any verb tense.
Here are some examples.
- She is incredibly kind.
- They were kind of annoying.
- The movie was pretty interesting.
- He is sort of tall.
- She is a little strange.
- The weather was quite hot.
- We will be so tired.
- Greg is awfully nice.
- Was it very hot?
- Are you kind of hungry?
Here are a few things we need to remember.
1. The words "terrible" and "awful" mean very bad. But when we use them as adverbs (terribly, awfully) then they have the same meaning as "very". The sentence can have a positive or negative meaning.
- This pizza is awfully good.
- The weather was terribly hot.
2. Some of these intensifiers can be followed by nouns.
There are many other adverbs like the ones we studied in this lesson. Adverbs are important to know because they add detail and emotion to our language. You can speak basic English without adverbs, but if you want to be an advanced or fluent speaker, then you need to use adverbs. If you want to practice speaking English, then try making your own sentences for each of the adverbs in the table above. This will help you improve your English quickly and remember this English grammar point for longer.
- She is kind of a bad person.
- They are sort of friends.