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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