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Extreme Adjectives

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Are you hungry? How hungry? Very, very hungry? Very, very, very hungry? Are you starving?

Starving is an extreme adjective, it means very, very hungry. We have lots of extreme adjectives in English that are used to emphasise normal adjectives.

Here are nine examples of adjectives and their extreme adjectives.

Adjective Extreme Adjective
1. Dirty - Filthy
2. Funny - Hilarious
3. Clean - Spotless
4. Interesting - Fascinating
5. Awful - Dreadful
6. Ugly - Hideous
7. Tasty - Delicious
8. Big - Huge
9. Small - Tiny

Extreme adjectives are different from normal adjectives in that they do not take the intensifier very: e.g. very good, very brilliant

Extreme adjectives use other intensifiers such as absolutely, completely, totally, utterly. These intensifiers cannot be used with normal adjectives: e.g. absolutely brilliant, absolutely good

Writing - Answer these discussion questions:

  1. When was the last time you ate something absolutely delicious?
  2. What subjects do you find fascinating?
  3. Is your house filthy or spotless?
  4. What films do you think are utterly hilarious?

Complete this exercise with normal or extreme adjectives:

Lesson by Sam, EC London English school

  • 1. This room is disgusting! It's absolutely ___! I've never seen so much dirt.
  • 2. My room is never dirty, it always absolutely ___.
  • 3. The film was very ___ but the seats were uncomfortable.
  • 4. This has been an utterly ___ evening, I just want to go home.
  • 5. That dog is very ___, I don’t know why they bought it.
  • 6. The food was good but the portions were absolutely ___.
  • 7. The dessert looked totally ___ but luckily it was very tasty.