Grammar 4-15 | Low Intermediate | CEFR B1

Adverbs of Intensity

Listen to a woman describe her friend using adverbs of intensity.

Pete: So, tell me Kate, what’s this new flatmate of yours like? I heard she's beautiful.

Kate: Yeah, she's really beautiful actually, in a very natural way. She has lovely long brown hair and her skin is so smooth. But I thought you weren't interested in looks, that personality was important.

Pete: Well, true. So, so why don’t you tell me what she's like then.

Kate: Well, actually she's very serious. She spends a lot of time reading and she really loves talking about politics. Not your type at all Pete.

Pete: What do you mean?

Kate: Well, you're a good laugh Pete. I can’t see you spending hours debating who should be President.

Pete: Well yeah, I guess that's probably true.

Grammar Notes

Point 1: We can use adverbs before adjectives to modify them.
  1. Shanghai is very crowded.
  2. I am fairly good at tennis.
  3. The test was really hard.
  4. The mall is pretty crowded today.
Point 2: Note the relative strength of modification.
  1. Extremely expensive           Expensive +++           Most
  2. Very expensive
  3. Really expensive
  4. Fairly/Pretty expensive
  5. Expensive                            Neutral
  6. Not very expensive
  7. Not expensive                      Fairly cheap
  8. Cheap                                  Cheap                          Least
Point 3: 'Too' indicates more than you want, need or like.
  1. I can’t afford that watch because it is too expensive.
  2. Man U are too good, so Carlisle will never beat them.
  3. It is too hot. Turn on the air-com.
  4. The test was too hard. I failed it.
Point 4: 'Not too' is often used with negative adjectives to create a more positive feel.
  1. That curry looks great and it isn’t too expensive.
  2. The test is not too difficult.
  3. The traffic is not too bad today.
  4. It is not too late to apply for college.
Answer the following questions about the interview.