Intensifiers and mitigators are used to vary the degree or strength of an adjective, verb or adverb.
1. Intensifiers add strength or force to the meaning of an .
| ||Kate is really beautiful.|
| ||Michael can run very fast.|
| ||Sharks are extremely dangerous.|
| ||The restaurant was remarkably empty for a Saturday.|
| ||It’s incredibly kind of you to help.|
Note: “Enough” can be used as an intensifier, but be careful, as “enough” is found after the adjective it modifies.
| ||Dan is not old enough to vote.|
| ||My sister isn’t tall enough to ride on the roller coaster.|
2. When we want to indicate that something or someone is exceptional, we can use .
As these strong adjectives already indicate an extreme (“enormous” = “very big”), we do not use the intensifier “very”. As an intensifier with strong adjectives, we generally use: “absolutely”, “exceptionally”, “particularly”, “really” or “quite”.
| ||Their house is absolutely enormous.|
| ||Her son is exceptionally brilliant.|
| ||The dinner you made last night was really marvelous.|
Note: Some intensifiers may only be used with particular .
3. With we use particular words or phrases as intensifiers.
a great deal,
a good bit…
| ||Dave is much faster than me.|
| ||My brother is a lot taller than my father.|
4. With we use the following:
| ||Paul is by far the most intelligent person I know.|
| ||Her essay was easily the longest in the class.|
1. While intensifiers strengthen the meaning of an , mitigators make them less strong.
| ||The movie was fairly boring.|
| ||The students were rather quiet in class.|
Note: “Pretty” is used in more informal English.
2. With we use the following words and phrases as mitigators:
a little bit,
| ||Dave is a bit faster than me.|
| ||My brother is slightly taller than my father.|