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Sunday, 23/01/2022 | 18:18

USES OF ADVERBS OF DEGREE

 
USES OF ADVERBS OF DEGREE
 
1. Modifying an adjective or adverb
  a. We can use an adverb of degree before some adjectives and adverbs.
   + Adjective: 
   - It's very cold. I'm so tired.
   - You're absolutely right. 
   - These are rather expensive.
   - We're a bit busy today. 
   - It wasn't at all interesting.
+ Adverb: I come here quite often. I saw her fairly recently.
  - We hardly ever go out. He agreed somewhat reluctantly.
Here are some common adverbs of degree.
Full degree: completely, totally, absolutely, entirely, quite
Large degree: very, extremely, really, awfully, terribly
Medium degree: rather, fairly, quite, pretty, somewhat
Small degree: a little, a bit, slightly
Negative: hardly, scarcely, at all
Others: so, as; too; more, most, less, least 
We can also use a fraction or percentage.
  - The bottle is only half full.
  - The forecast was eighty per cent accurate.
NOTE
a. We use completely, totally, absolutely etc with words expressing a full or large degree.
  - This tin opener is completely useless. (useless = absolutely no use)
  - We are absolutely delighted at the news. (delighted = very pleased)
We do not normally use very or extremely with these words.
  - It's very unsatisfactory. NOT It's very useless.
  - We were extremely pleased. NOT We were extremely delighted:
Some words that do not normally take very or extremely are: amazed, amazing, appalled, appalling, awful, complete, delighted, dreadful, essential, false, fascinated, horrible, ideal, impossible, incredible, magnificent, marvellous, perfect, terrible, terrific, useless.
b.  After a phrase with very we can put indeed for extra emphasis.
  - It's very cold indeed today.
c.  We often use very with a negative.
  - These photos aren't very good.
This is more usual than These photos aren't good or These photos are bad.
d. Instead of really we can use real in informal speech, especially in American English.
 - It's real cold today.
e. Pretty and a bit are informal.
f.  Somewhat, a little, a bit and slightly have an unfavourable sense.
  - The carriage was somewhat crowded.
  -  I felt a bit sick.
But we can use them with comparatives in a favourable sense.
  - I felt a bit better/somewhat more cheerful.
g.  At all can also go in end position.
  - It wasn't interesting at all.
h.  We can use at all to emphasize a negative.
  - Frankenstein wasn't the name of the monster at all.
  - There was nowhere at all to park.
Here are some other phrases with a similar meaning.
 - The operation was not a success by any means. I'm not in the least tired.
  - The project is not nearly complete. There is still a long way to go.
  - Her son's visits were far from frequent.
We can use absolutely before no and its compounds.
  - There was absolutely nowhere to park.
NOTE
a. We can use ever with a negative word.
  - No one ever takes any notice of these memos.
b. We can use whatsoever after nothing, none, or after no + noun.
 - There's nothing whatsoever we can do about it.
  - The people seem to have no hope whatsoever.
h.  In informal English we can use that instead of so in a negative sentence.
 - No, they don't own an aeroplane. They aren't that rich.
i. We can use much, far or rather to modify too.
 - This coat is much too big for me.
 j. We can use twice, three times etc to express degree, to say how many times greater something is.
  -  I earn double/twice what I used to/twice as much as I used to.
  - You're looking ten times better than you did yesterday.
g.  Enough comes after the adjective or adverb it modifies.
  - Are you warm enough?
  - Steve didn't react quickly enough.
Compare too and enough.
 - It's too small (for me)./It isn't big enough (for me).
NOTE
Compare enough as adverb and as quantifier.
  - I'm not rich enough./I haven't enough money.
2. Modifying a comparative adjective or adverb
   - This new sofa is much nicer than the old one. NOT very nicer
  - Come on. Try a bit harder.
  - The alternative route was no quicker.
Before a comparative we can use (very) much, a lot; rather, somewhat; a little, a bit, slightly; three times etc.
3. Modifying a superlative
  - It was just about the nicest holiday I could have imagined.
  - We offer easily the best value / by far the best value.
NOTE
The adverb can sometimes come after the phrase with a superlative.
  - We offer the best value by far.
4.  So/such, quite and too
 We can use most adverbs of degree with an attributive adjective.
  - that very tall girl 
  - my fairly low score 
  - a rather nice restaurant
But after a/an we do not normally use so or quite.
 
  - She's such a tall girl. NOT a so tall girl
  - It's quite an old book. (a quite old book is less usual)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PRACTICE
I. Use suitable adverbs in place of very :  terribly , greatly. widel,   deeply , extremely ,  really, richly 
painfully ,. fast , bitterly,  badly, awfully
1. The traffic is ......... slow today. 
2. I'm .........  confused by the new regulations. 
3. 1 .........  appreciate all you've done for me. 
4. We are .........  interested in your proposal.  
5. That radio talk wasn't ......... interesting.   
6. 1 was .........  awake all night. 
7. 1 was ......... hurt by her answer. 
8. Old Mrs. Ngô ......... boring! 
9. I'm ......... annoyed about this. 
10. Your success has been .........  deserved. 
11. We were all ......... embarrassed! 
12. Your friend works .........  slowly. 
13. 1 was .........  bored by the play.
14. 1 didn't think the film was .........  funny.
15. I'm .........  sorry about this.
16. What you did was .........  stupid.
17. Your staff have been ............... helpful.
18. You didn't wake me. I was .........  asleep.
19. It was ......... cold last night.
20. You think you're ......... clever.
21. A well is ......... needed in that village.
22. This computer is ......... fast.
23. She's still .........  young.
24. We're .........  grateful to you.
II. Use suitable words to complete this story. Don't use the same word more than twice.
 
JUSTLY PUNISHED
 
  There were 1 too many people on the bus for comfort and passengers were standing in the aisle. A young woman carrying a baby was 2........... grateful when an old man offered her his seat. The baby was 3.............. asleep and she could now rest him on her lap.
  She thanked the old man 4.............and was just going to sit down when a rude young man sat in the empty seat. Everyone was 5.......... embarrassed, and the young mother was 6............. surprised to say anything. All the passengers 7..............disapproved of the man's action. They were 8............ angry with him, but he paid no attention. 9............ later, the rude man wanted to get off the bus and tried to push past the passengers. They all stood closely together and wouldn't let him move. He was made to stay on the bus till it reached its terminus, a punishment he 10 ......... deserved.
III. Write these sentences again using the adverbs in brackets. Make changes where necessary.
1. Public transport isn't reliable. (always)   Public transport isn't always reliable.
2. He wasn't late when he worked here. (often) .....................................................................................
3. She doesn't arrive on time. (usually) ..................................................................................................
4. She doesn't arrive on time. (sometimes) ............................................................................................
5. We don't worry if the children are late. (normally) ..............................................................................
6. You don't phone. (hardly ever) ...........................................................................................................
7. We don't complain. (generally) ...........................................................................................................
8. You're not at home when I phone. (sometimes) .................................................................................
IV. Show where the adverbs in brackets can go in the sentences that follow them.
 
WHERE DID I PUT MY TEETH?
 
(1 ever) Have you forgotten something on a train or bus?   ever forgotten 
(2 never) Don't say you have! 
(3 always)(4 occasionally)We can't be careful with our things and most of us must have left something behind when getting off a bus or train. 
(5 never) There can't be anyone who forgets anything. 
(6 regularly) Over 150,000 items a year are dealt with by London Transport's Lost Property Office. 
(7 normally) People don't carry stuffed gorillas, but someone recently left one on a train. 
(8 most often) The things people lose are umbrellas and keys. 
(9 sometimes) But there are items that are not very common. 
(10 ever) Can you imagine losing a bed and not claiming it? 
(11 often) Prams and pushchairs are lost. 
(12 frequently) But it is unbelievable that people forget false teeth and even glass eyes when they get off a train! (13 often) Yet they do!
 
ANSWER KEY
 
I. 
1. awfully 2. terribly 3. greatly 4. extremely 5. terribly 6. wide 7. deeply 8. extremely 9. really 10. richly 
11. painfully 12. awfully 13. terribly 14. awfully 15. terribly 16. extremely 17. extremely 18. fast 19. bitterly 20. terribly 21. badly 22. extremely 23. really 24. extremely
II. 
1. too 2. very 3. fast 4. very much 5. painfully 6. too 7. really / very much 8. extremely 9. Much 10. richly
III. Adverbs of frequency at the beginning of a sentence
la) I often bring work home from the office.
  b Often, I bring work home from the office.
2a) John normally leaves home before his wife does.
  b) Normally, John leaves home before his wife does.
3a) I have frequently forgotten to lock the back door.
  b) Frequently, I have forgotten to lock the back door.
4a) I usually know when to wake up.
  b) Usually, I know when to wake up.
5a) I'm generally the one who pays the bills.
  b) Generally, I'm the one who pays the bills.
6a) The traffic is often heavy in the mornings.
  b) Often, the traffic is heavy in the mornings.
7a) We sometimes have power cuts.
  b) Sometimes, we have power cuts.
8a) There are often complaints about the service.
  b) Often, there are complaints about the service.
IV. 
1. Have you ever forgotten ... ?
2. Don't say you never have!
3. We can't always be careful ...
4. ... most of us must occasionally have left something ...
5 ... who never forgets anything.
6. ....  a year are regularly dealt with . . .
7. People don't normally carry/normally don't carry / Normally, people don't carry . . .
8. The things people most often lose/lose most often
9. But sometimes there are itemslthere are sometimes . . .
10. Can you ever imagine ... (or ... and not ever claiming it ?)
11. Prams and pushchairs are often lost.lOften, prams and pushchairs ...
12. ... people frequently forget false teeth ...
13. Yet they often do! Yet often they do!
 

 

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