In order to emphasize the meaning of an adjective, many people tend to use “very”. But using “very” can be very dangerous. Why?
The reason is that there are two types of adjectives:
1- Base adjectives: These are the normal adjectives and don’t have the idea of ‘very’ implied so they can be graded, that is to say: I can be a bit bored, the book can be quite interesting, a story can be too long or an exercise can be very easy.
2- However, there are strong adjectives or extreme adjectives, where the idea of ‘very’ is implied. Therefore, you can’t use ‘very’ with them. For example: A box can be very small or TINY; a house can be very big or ENORMOUS; I can be very tired or EXHAUSTED, and so on…
If you want to add any emphasis to latter ones, you can add adverbs like: Really, absolutely, utterly... That also have a kind of “extreme” connotation.
Would you like some practice? Try to match the following base adjectives with their corresponding strong adjective in the box. The solutions are in the comment below.