Gradable Adjectives And Adverbs


Gradable adjectives and adverbs

Some adjectives and adverbs refer to qualities which are gradable. For example, people can be more or less pleasing; jobs can be more or less difficult. Other adjectives and adverbs refer to non-gradable qualities – we cannot have more or less of them. Examples are perfect, impossible, dead, round.

Degree modifiers

We use certain words or expressions to add the idea of degree to gradable adjectives and adverbs. They are called degree modifiers. Examples are: very, too, as, so, enough, rather, somewhat, pretty, moderately, quite, fairly, a little, a bit etc.

Points to be noted

A little and a bit are mostly used before adjectives and adverbs expressing negative ideas.

We do not use a little and a bit with adjectives in attributive position.

Enough comes after its adjective.

In a formal style, must can be used before adjectives with the same meaning as very.

Before adjectives and adverbs, very, too, so, as and how are normally used without much.

However, these words can be used with much before comparatives.