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Gradable and ungradable adjectives

Average: 4 (9 votes)

Adjectives describe a quality that something has. To describe variations in temperature, for instance, we can use hot or cold, which are gradable adjectives but to describe the limits of temperature we use boiling or freezing. These are ungradable adjectives.

Ungradable
Gradable
tiny
small
excellent
good
boiling
warn/hot
enormous
big
terrible
bad
freezing
cold
exhausted
tired
furious
angry

Use adverbs to make adjectives weaker or stronger.

Adverbs with gradable adjectives – very, extremely, a bit, slightly

Adverbs with ungradable adjectives – absolutely, completely, totally, utterly.

Really is used with both.

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

  • 1. Let's stay in tonight; it's _ freezing outside.



  • 2. I was _ devastated when I heard the news.



  • 3. This work of art is _ unique.



  • 4. It's _ important to have good friends.



  • 5. Her new dress is _ unusual.



  • 6. Peter is _ angry with Sarah today.



  • 7. These photographs are very _.



  • 8. David's new house is absolutely _.



  • 9. The documentary is extremely _.



  • 10. I'm _ starving. What's for dinner?