Intensifiers are words used in the English language to add more emphasis to verbs, adjectives and other adverbs. They make the words stronger in their meaning. For example:
- The bed was very soft.
- It was an incredibly boring project.
- That movie was really funny.
Here are a few examples of intensifiers:
The word enough is also an intensifier. It is only placed after the adjective, not before. For example:
- In our state, five is old enough to go to kindergarten.
- This car isn’t big enough to fit our whole family.
Strong adjectives are words that emphasise the meaning of another adjective that has an intensifier in front of it. They are a good replacement for using the intensifier very. For example:
|gigantic, enormous, massive||very large|
|absolute, definite||very sure|
|minuscule, teeny||very little|
|vivid, vibrant||very colorful|
|scarce, scant||very rare|
|fantastic, marvelous||very good|
|furious, irate||very angry|
We don’t use the word very with strong adjectives. You wouldn’t say “very marvelous” for example. For strong adjectives we use intensifiers such as:
- I had an absolutely marvelous day.
- The collectible was especially scarce.
Some intensifiers go with certain adjectives, depending on the meaning of the adjective.
- She was exceptionally beautiful.
- The meal was absolutely delicious.
The word highly can be used with adjectives such as:
- The firm was highly profitable last year.
- His career goals were highly ambitious.
The word highly is not used like this:
- The night was highly cold.
- He was highly happy.
We can use words like bitterly or desperately with adjectives like sad, cold, upset
- The winter wind is bitterly cold.
- He was desperately unhappy at work.
Comparative adjectives are used when comparing subjects. Some intensifiers used with comparative adjectives are:
|a lot||very much||much|
|a great deal||a huge amount||quite a bit|
- My father is quite a bit older than my mother.
- My school is a lot larger than your school.
We can use the words much and far to intensify an adjective that is in front of a noun.
- James is a much better worker than Jeff.
- This is a far better meal than the one last night.