Rules for using strong adjectives and extreme intensifiers. On the previous page, we looked at using strong adjectives and extreme intensifiers. On this page, we will look at some additional rules for using these structures. Examples are given to support each of the rules.
Rule #1: There are collocations (words that are commonly put together) that control which strong adjectives go which which extreme intensifiers. We will look at this more later in this lesson, but here is an example:
I’m extremely starving
- I’m absolutely starving
Rule #2: We don’t use comparatives (‘bigger’) or superlatives (‘the biggest’) with extreme adjectives. Here is an example:
An elephant is more enormous than a mouse.
- An elephant is bigger than a mouse.
Rule #3: Some adjectives are gradable and some are absolute. You need to know the difference! Absolute adjectives do not use basic intensifiers.
Examples of absolute adjectives: DEAD, COMPLETE, TOTAL, FATAL, INFINITE, UNKNOWN
He’s very dead. It’s quite fatal. It’s extremely unknown.