Adjective intensifiers

There are some words which can be used to ‘intensify’ many adjectives – ‘very’ ‘really’ ‘totally’ ‘absolutely’ ‘completely’ ‘utterly’ ‘entirely’.

  • It’s very tall.
  • We’re really happy.
  • She’s totally exhausted.
  • I’m absolutely horrified.
  • He’s completely hopeless.
  • You look utterly miserable.
  • I’m entirely satisfied.

Certain adjectives have their own ‘special’ intensifiers which are often used with them. Here are some common ones:

blind drunk

  • He was blind drunk and behaved really badly.

bone dry

  • I must have a drink. I’m bone dry.

brand new

  • I’ve just bought a brand new car.

crystal clear

  • The sea near Rhodes is crystal clear.

dead easy

  • That exam was dead easy. I’ve certainly passed.
  • He’s won three lottery prizes this year. He’s dead lucky.

dead right

  • I agree entirely. You are dead right.

dirt cheap

  • I bought my car for a dirt cheap price from an old lady who had hardly driven it.

fast asleep / sound asleep

  • I was in bed and fast asleep by nine.
  • I was sound asleep and I didn’t hear anything.

paper thin

  • These office walls are paper thin. You can hear everything said in the next office.

pitch black

  • There’s no moon. It’s pitch black out there.

razor sharp

  • Be careful with that knife- it’s razor sharp.

rock hard

  • It’s impossible to dig this soil – it’s rock hard.

stark naked

  • The hotel door slammed behind me and I was left standing stark naked in the middle of the corridor.

stone deaf

  • He can’t hear a thing. He’s stone deaf.

wide awake

  • I was wide awake by six.

wide open

  • Who left the door wide open?

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exercise 2
exercise 3
exercise 4
exercise 5

17 thoughts on “Adjective intensifiers”

  1. As always you are doing great job for English learners. I am so grateful of you. I learned/learning lots of phrases and words from you. Thanks alot Mr. Pearson.

  2. Today you have send us a valuable lesson..Thank you very much Mr. Pearson.
    It will be utterly useful for my daily usage of language..Cheers..!

  3. Thank you very much for publishing this kind of lessons and exercises. It is very much appreciated. Best regards.

  4. This lesson is a very important one. Collocations and uptodate slangs are necessary to learn to use in our everyday conversation
    Sometimes we feel a little confuse when we face new expressions and we are in doubt if they are really used.Please if you can send us more and more uptodate used slangs and collocations ,they are welcomed,thanks

    Heliodoro Porto

  5. I receive your English lessons for quite a while now, and I finally want to thank you for the great and generous work you’re doing, enabling us to improve our English every day! Thank you so much

  6. A great lesson!!! I’ve been looking for such material for a long time. So many expressions and good exercises to practise them. Thanks a lot, Mr.Pearson!

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