Adverbs of degree video: What are adverbs of degree and how are they used.
Adverbs of degree video gives you an overview of the function and use of adverbs of degree in English with examples and links to the main adverbs of degree English4today section.
Common adverbs of degree
For a full explanation of Adverbs of Degree visit the English4Today Grammar, Adverbs of Degree section.
Adverbs of degree tell us about the intensity or degree of an action, an adjective or another adverb.
Adverbs of degree are usually placed:
Before the adjective or adverb they are modifying:
- The coffee was extremely hot
Before the main verb:
- Piotr was just leaving.
- Fatima has almost finished the book.
Enough, very, too
Enough as an adverb meaning ‘to the necessary degree’ goes after adjectives and adverbs.
- Is your coffee hot enough? (adjective)
- Alex didn’t work hard enough. (adverb)
It also goes before nouns, and means ‘as much as is necessary’. In this case it is not an adverb, but a ‘determiner’.
- We have enough water.
- They don’t have enough money.
Too as an adverb meaning ‘more than is necessary or useful’ goes before adjectives and adverbs, e.g.
- This weather is too hot. (adjective)
- He smokes too much. (adverb)
Enough and too with adjectives can be followed by ‘for someone’ or ‘for something’.
- The shirt was big enough for Max.
- Laticia is not experienced enough for this job.
- The sup was too hot for David.
- The shoes were too small for Lavinia.
We can also use ‘to + infinitive’ after enough and too with adjectives/adverb.
- The coffee was too hot to drink.
- Sasha didn’t work hard enough to pass the exam.
- Inés is not old enough to get married.
- You’re too young to have children!
Very goes before an adverb or adjective to make it stronger.
- The photograph was very beautiful. (adjective)
- Léo worked very slowly. (adverb)
If we want to make a negative form of an adjective or adverb, we can use a word of opposite meaning, or not very.
- The house was ugly OR The house was not very beautiful
- He worked slowly OR He didn’t work very quickly.
BE CAREFUL! There is a big difference between too and very.
- Very expresses a fact:
He speaks very quickly.
- Too suggests there is a problem:
He speaks too quickly (for me to understand).
Other adverbs like very
These common adverbs are used like very and not very, and are listed in order of strength, from positive to negative:
extremely, especially, particularly, pretty, rather, quite, fairly, rather, not especially, not particularly.
Note: rather can be positive or negative, depending on the adjective or adverb that follows:
Positive: The teacher was rather nice.
Negative: The film was rather disappointing.
Note on inversion with negative adverbs
Normally the subject goes before the verb:
However, some negative adverbs can cause an inversion – the order is reversed and the verb goes before the subject:
- I have never seen such courage.
Never have I seen such courage.
- She rarely left the house.
Rarely did she leave the house.
Negative inversion is used in writing, not in speaking.
Other adverbs and adverbial expressions that can be used like this:
- not only…but also
- no sooner …..than
- not until
- under no circumstances