Adverb of Degree


Adverbs of degree tell us the strength or intensity of something that happens. Mainly they answer the question that asks How much ...? or How little...? An adverb of degree is used to discourse the degree or intensity of an action, an adjective, or another adverb. Many adverbs are gradable, that is, we can intensify them.  Adverbs of degree are important modifiers. As you will soon see, they are generally placed before the word they are modifying. Some common examples of adverbs of degree follow:

Adverbs of degree include; adequately, highly, tremendously, entirely, greatly, partially, hugely, extremely, moderately, practically, very, immensely, almost, profoundly, strongly, perfectly, totally, virtually etc.

For example:
  • The man drove gravely. = The man drove really gravely. - In this sentence really shows us just how gravely he drove.
  • They enjoyed the film. = They enjoyed the film incalculably. - In this sentence incalculably shows us how much they enjoyed the film.
These intensifiers are not gradable though, you cannot say The man drove extremely very gravely.

  1. Adverbs of degree usually modify verbs.
  2. Adverbs of degree tell us the intensity, attentiveness, or even depth of a particular action.
  3. They answer the question “how much” or “to what extend”
  4. Usually they are formed by adding the suffix ly to adjectives.
  5. Some adverbs of degree can modify adjectives, other adverbs, or clauses.
  6. They can come before a main verb, after a main verb, or after an object.

What is an Adverb of Degree

Adverbs of degree tell us about the intensity or degree of an action, an adjective or another adverb. Adverbs of degree are commonly placed before the  adverb, adjective or verb they are modifying, although there are some exceptions discussed below. 

Adverbs of degree are usually placed:
  • before the adverb or adjective they are modifying:
e.g. The water was extremely hot.
  • before the main verb:
e.g. She was just leaving. He has almost finished.

'Enough' as an Adverb

Enough as an adverb meaning 'to the necessary degree' goes after the adverb or adjective that it is modifying, and not before it as other adverbs do. Enough can be used as both an adverb and as a determiner. It can be used both in positive and negative sentences. 

  • Is your milk hot enough to drink?
  • She's not old enough to get married.
  • I got here early enough to attend the conference.
Enough can also be followed by "for someone" or "for something".

  • I got here early enough.
  • Is your milk hot enough?
  • She didn't work hard enough.
  • This container isn't big enough.
Enough is often followed by "to" + the infinitive.

  • The dress was big enough for me.
  • She's not experienced enough for this job.
  • He didn't work hard enough for a promotion.

Enough as a Determiner:

Enough as a determiner meaning 'as much/many as necessary' goes before the noun it modifies. It is used with countable nouns in the plural and with uncountable nouns.

  • We have enough fruits.
  • They don't have enough food.
  • I don't have enough mangoes.

Usage of "VERY"

Very goes before an adverb or adjective to make it stronger.

  • The house is very expensive.
  • The girl was very pretty.
  • She runs very fast.
  • He worked very quickly.
If a negative form of an adjective or adverb is to be made, one can add "not" to the verb, we can use an adjective or adverb of opposite meaning, or we can use "not very" with the original adjective or adverb. The meanings of the phrases are not identical. Generally the phrase using "not very" is less direct, and thus more courteous, than the other phrases.

Usage of "TOO"

"Too" is always an adverb, but it has two distinct meanings, each with its own usage patterns.

Too Meaning "ALSO"

Too as an adverb meaning "also" goes at the end of the phrase it modifies.

  • I would like to go jogging too, if you will let me come.
  • Is this pastry for me too?
  • I'm not going to clean your room too!

Too as an adverb meaning "excessively" goes before the adjective or adverb it modifies. It can be used in both affirmative and negative sentences.

  • This tea is too hot.
  • Isn't she too old?
  • I am not too tall!
Too is often followed by "to" + the infinitive.

  • You're too young to have grandchildren!
  • I am not too tired to go out tonight.
  • Don't you work too hard to have any free time?
Too can also be followed by "for someone" or "for something".

  • The dress was too big for her.
  • He's not too young for this job.
  • Sally's not too slow for our team.

List of Adverb of Degree

Adverbs of degree can modify verbs, adverbs or adjectives, and  to which something happens. This is an alphabetical list of common degree adverbs.

Degree adverbs without -ly suffix

 about   just   pretty*   well 
 almost   least   quite  as… as
       altogether        less  rather  too… to... 
 downright  little  so  so…(that)
 enough  lots        somewhat               somewhat     
 far        mighty        still  too
 however  more  too  very
 how  most  very  well
 indeed  much  very much   
 jolly  not  way far   

Degree adverbs with -ly suffix

 absolutely  very   amazingly  surprisingly   awfully very   barely negative 
   completely  totally, all parts     considerably  dreadfully very  easily  clearly, without difficulties 
 enormously  entirely  especially  exceedingly
 excessively  extensively very  extremely very  fairly
 fantastically  fully  greatly  hardly not much
 highly  very  hugely  immensely  incredibly  very
 infinitely extremely  intensely very  largely  mostly  literally
 moderately  nearly  noticeably  particularly
 partly  perfectly completely  positively  practically almost; nearly
 profoundly  purely  really  reasonably acceptably
 relatively  remarkably    seriously alarming degree     simply
 slightly  strikingly  strongly surely  sufficiently
 supremely  surprisingly unexpected degree   suspiciously  terribly very
 totally  tremendously  very  truly  thoroughly
 utterly  virtually  wonderfully  unbelievably

Examples of Adverb of Degree

Adverbs of degree allow you to be very specific when writing, no matter what the purpose. In the following examples, the adverbs of degree have been italicized for ease of identification.

  • They were almost finished.
  • She doesn't quite know what she'll do after university.
  • This cake is absolutely wonderful.
  • They are completely exhausted from the trip.
  • The temperature was barely above freezing.
  • I disagree completely with John Taylor.
  • He told me a rather long and complicated story.
  • Our driveway is completely frozen.
  • He hardly noticed what she was saying.
  • We felt incredibly lucky after winning tickets to the World Series.
  • I very much wanted to take it with me.
  • Are you saying that simply because I am here?
  • I don't think it's worth going just for a day.
  • My teacher is terribly grumpy today
  • I am too tired to go out tonight.
  • Mr. Jeffry strongly criticised the Bank of England.
  • John is so interesting to talk to.
  • That argument doesn't convince me totally.
  • He almost crashed into a lorry.
  • Science is changing so rapidly.
  • Really, I didn't know that!
  • Seaford is rather a pleasant town.
  • My father gave me quite a large sum of money.
  • I think he's absolutely wonderful.
  • Nadia want to do so many different styles.
  • I waited until my daughter was old enough to read.
  • The prices in that shop are too high.
  • We've got enough money to buy that car now.
  • There was such a noise we couldn't hear.
  • They said such nice things about you.
  • I've been paying too much compensation.
  • Reena didn't work quickly enough.

Adverb of Degree Exercises

Fill in the blanks with appropriate adverbs of degree. 

  1. Today is ____________________  colder than yesterday. (very, much, much or very much)
  2. She finished the day ____________________ exhausted. ( a bit / totally ) 
  3. It was a ____________________ simple invention. ( quite / remarkably ) 
  4. Gerard lives a ____________________ stressful life. ( quite / very ) 
  5. Ecuador is a ____________________ great country. ( really / very ) 
  6. My boyfriend is ____________________ older than me. (very, much)
  7. The Serrano Towers in Valencia are ____________________ high. ( absolutely / pretty ) 
  8. The situation is____________________  serious. ( very, much, very much)
  9. Taylor Swift isn't a good singer. He’s ____________________ fantastic. ( absolutely / very ) 
  10. The concert was ____________________ wonderful. ( absolutely / extremely ) 
  11. Maria is a ____________________ skilled computer technician. ( completely / highly ) 
  12. That boy of yours is ____________________ lazy. ( absolutely / extremely ) 
  13. It was ____________________ freezing this morning. ( a bit / absolutely ) 
  14. Victor, in my opinion, is ____________________ mad. ( completely / highly ) 
  15. Rodin's sculptures are ____________________ well-known. ( absolutely / very)
  16. I have been to ____________________  too many countries recently.(very, rather, quite)
  17. Angelina Jolie looked ____________________ gorgeous at the Golden Globe Awards ceremony. ( absolutely / totally ) 
  18. Samantha is ____________________ nice. ( absolutely / really ) 
  19. Sean cooks ____________________ well. ( absolutely / fairly ) 
  20. High-definition televisions are much _____ expensive for the average American consumer. (too, very, enough)