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Adverbs of degree

Adverbs of degree modify other adverbs, adjectives, and verbs. Adverbs of degree are what grade adverbs, verbs, and adjectives or what tell us to the extent something happens or is described. Some adverbs of degree are: almost, somewhat, nearly, highly, greatly, just, fairly, extremely etc. The list is abundant. In the following examples, we’ll detail the uses of adverbs modifying verbs, other adverbs and adjectives.

Adverbs of degree modifying verbs

  • The hairdresser cut my hair horribly.
  • They were drinking dangerously and stupidly. 
  • I didn’t think she was teaching badly.

Adverbs of degree modifying other adverbs

(In this position they are also called ‘intensifiers’)

  • He was talking too slowly for my liking.
  • I’m usually quickly finding the results.
  • Almost weekly I have an exam.

Adverbs of degree modifying adjectives 

  • I know I’m a very good football player.
  • George is a truly fantastic mathematician.
  • The kids thoroughly enjoyed the basketball match.

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Lesson #32: Adverbs of degree

Adverbs of degree grade adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs, that is, they tell us to what extent something happens. There are many, many adverbs of degree. The list is abundant.

Context

  • So, Lisa, what do you think should be the minimum age before obtaining1 a driver license?
  • Well, I think it should be twenty-one2. In my country, New Zealand, the age in which one3 can receive a driver’s license4 is too5 young in my opinion.
  • What age is it in New Zealand?
  • The age is sixteen, which is extremely6
  • You’re completely7 right, sixteen is incredibly8 Teenagers at that age are barely9 even adults, and it’s hardly right for them to be driving a car at that very young age.
  • I fully agree. I’m somewhat10 opposed to this very11 young age, and I think the government really needs to raise the age to a minimum of twenty-one years old12.

Analysis

  1. Before obtaining: remember, when a preposition is followed by a verb, the verb always takes the gerund (verb + ing). The preposition here being, before, and the gerund being obtaining. I.e., I’m interested in studying. She’s all for living the life. The prepositions in and for are followed by the gerund versions studying and living.
  2. Twenty-one: numbers in English from twenty-one until ninety-nine need a hyphen (-). I.e., thirty-three, eighty-nine, sixty-four, seventy-eight etc.
  3. One: pronoun being used to speak about people in a general sense. I.e., one should drive safely.
  4. Driver’s license: notice the possessive here (‘s) after driver. That’s because license is being possessed by driver, therefore, driver must have the possessive (‘s). I.e., Sam’s house. My brother’s phone. House and phone are being possessed by Sam and brother, hence the possessive.
  5. Too: adverb of degree. Too is always an adverb.
  6. Extremely: adverb of degree. The adjective is extreme, so you just add -ly to make the adverb.
  7. Completely: adverb of degree. Remember, adverbs modify adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs. Completely, in this case, is modifying the adjective, right.
  8. Incredibly: adverb of degree. -ly I added to the adjective incredible to form the adverb (also omitting the -e on the infinitive).
  9. Barely: adverb of degree.
  10. Somewhat: adverb of degree meaning ‘’to a moderate extent’’.
  11. Very: adverb of degree.
  12. Twenty-one years old: In English, it’s common to insert years old afterwards when you’re talking about your age. I.e., I am fifty years old. Jeremy is thirty-three years old.

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