Adverbs of Degree
Adverbs of degree tell "how much" or "to what extent." These adverbs are sometimes called intensifiers because they add intensity (either positive or negative) to the words they modify.
Notice how the adverbs of degree in the sentences below add intensity to the words they modify:
- I felt rather shy.
- She was too excited to sleep.
- You are most welcome.
- Lucy skates quite gracefully.
- They just arrived.
- The rabbit was terribly frightened.
- She worked awfully hard on her essay.
- You have been most generous.
- Irving felt very honored.
- Rip Van Winkle awoke extremely puzzled.
- They were too tired to continue.
- We were so relieved.
- William Few was very insistent.
- We came too late.
Some adverbs of degree that tell "how much" or "to what extent" are easy to identify because they end in -ly. However, many others do not. Here are some common intensifiers:
Adverbs of degree that tell "how much" or "to what extent" usually modify an adjective or another adverb. However, they occasionally modify a verb.
MODIFYING AN ADJECTIVE
- We were so elated!
The adverb so modifies the adjective elated and tells "how elated" we were.
- The hikers were absolutely exhausted.
The adverb absolutely modifies the adjective exhausted and tells "how exhausted" the hikers were.
- Irving was extremely appreciative.
The adverb extremely modifies the adjective appreciative and tells "how appreciative" Irving was.
MODIFYING ANOTHER ADVERB
- Lucy skated rather carelessly.
The adverb rather modifies the adverb carelessly and tells "how carelessly" Lucy skated.
- William Few spoke quite frequently.
The adverb quite modifies the adverb frequently and tells "how frequently" William Few spoke.
MODIFYING A VERB
- Ivan completely agrees with you.
The adverb completely modifies the verb agree and tells "to what extent" Ivan agrees.
- My friend has highly recommended that book.
The adverb highly modifies the verb recommended and tells "to what extent" the book has been recommended.
- William Few mildly supported the Federalists.
The adverb mildly modifies the verb supported and tells "to what extent" William Few supported the Federalists.
For each sentence, write the adverb that tells "how much" or "to what extent" and give the word it modifies.
- The weather changed very quickly.
- Am I too late?
- Have they dusted the shelves thoroughly?
- The leader was not pretentious.
- People change the environment rather quickly.
- It may be too difficult for animals and plants to adjust.
- Whole species have vanished completely.
- Very special animals like dolphins, whales, and gorillas are endangered.
- Washington Irving was totally enamored with Matilda Hoffman.
- Knickerbocker and Washington Irving became quite famous.
- The stories about Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane are based slightly on German legend.
- The state of New York most proudly commends Washington Irving.
- Did William Few totally commit to the patriot cause?
- He became quite interested in politics and law.
- Mr. Few most carefully defended the Georgia frontier.
- The adverb very modifies "quickly," another adverb.
- The adverb too modifies the predicate adjective "late."
- The adverb thoroughly modifies the verb phrase "Have dusted."
- The adverb not modifies the adjective "pretentious."
- The adverb rather modifies "quickly," another adverb.
- The adverb too modifies the predicate adjective "difficult."
- The adverb completely modifies the verb phrase "have vanished."
- The adverb very modifies the adjective "special."
- The adverb totally modifies the verb "was enamored."
- The adverb quite modifies the predicate adjective "famous."
- The adverb slightly modifies the verb "are based."
- The adverb most modifies the adverb "proudly."
- The adverb totally modifies the verb "did commit."
- The adverb quite modifies the predicate adjective "interested."
- The adverb most modifies the adverb "carefully."