Lesson Summary 

Do you want to upgrade your English and take your conversation skills to the next level? In this lesson, we’ll go over ‘adjective intensifiers’ and I’ll show you how to use them to dramatically improve your written and spoken English skills!
This is one of my top English tips to sound more impressive in English!

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Video Transcript
Section 1
Hello I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! Now I have to say I’m extremely excited about this lesson today. Because I know that you’re an exceptionally dedicated student, so this incredibly useful lesson, is going to help you to take your English speaking skills to the next level.

The tips that I share today are going to help your speaking and your writing skills sound much more powerful. So how are we going to do that? We’re going to use intensifiers. We’re going to use intensifiers to make your language more powerful when you’re talking about extremes.

So intensifiers are words that are added before an adjective to make it stronger. It’s simple, you take any old, boring adjective, like ‘boring’ and then you add an intensifier to it.

The lecture was really boring.

See? I bet you didn’t even know that you already know how to use some adjective intensifiers. But ‘really’ and ‘very’ are pretty stock standard intensifiers, you know. They’re not really showcasing your English skills. Let me show you what I mean.

That shop assistant was rude.
That shop assistant was really rude.
That shop assistant was extremely rude.

Did you notice how the tone of each sentence changed? It suddenly became much stronger as we got to the end so the role of an intensifier in your sentence is exactly what it sounds like! It’s there to intensify the adjective, to make the meaning stronger. And that, my friends, allows you to introduce more emotion and more feeling into your English.

Using intensifiers is going to help you to enhance the meaning of an adjective, to emphasize a point. They’ll also help you to sound really impressive, definitely when you’re speaking, but these intensifiers will help you to write more compelling essays and reports too. So this lesson is definitely worth sticking around for.

Now there are intensifiers that show high intensity, medium intensity, and low intensity. And intensity is talking about strength, so there are intensifiers that are high in strength, that are medium in strength or that are low in strength.

So we’ll start with intensifiers that are high intensity. So these intensifiers are going to take your adjective to the extreme upper limits of the meaning of your adjective. They’re very strong. And there are quite a few of these strong intensifiers to choose from.

  • extremely
  • completely
  • absolutely
  • utterly
  • totally
  • entirely
  • exceptionally
  • insanely
  • incredibly

Okay so let’s test these out.

Her daughter is intelligent.

So this sentence is okay but to emphasise the point, we can use an intensifier to make it stronger.

Her daughter is exceptionally intelligent.

Wow! She is very, very, very, very, smart.

She’s been stressed lately.
She’s been incredibly stressed lately.

The exam was difficult.
The exam was extremely difficult.

The sound was deafening!
The sound was absolutely deafening!

We are exhausted.
We are utterly exhausted.

So all of these intensifiers are at the high, extreme top end of the meaning of the adjective. So I have a question for you. If you’ve just eaten lunch an hour ago, can you use any of these adjectives to say that you’re feeling hungry again? No, they’re much too strong.

But what about if you hadn’t eaten since yesterday morning and that was over twenty-four hours ago? Could you use any of them then? Probably, because I think you’d be pretty hungry. So write this sentence for me in the comments below this video. Use one of the intensifiers to explain how you feel – you haven’t eaten for over twenty-four hours!

Quick! Write it!

But, please be careful. It is possible to overuse intensifiers, particularly these high extremes, so your sentence can really quickly become too full of strong emotions. And you’ll start to sound a little insincere.

If this sentence was a person, it would sound like this.

The most unbelievably phenomenal thing has happened! My incredibly brilliant and utterly amazing brother just met an extremely wealthy man who owns an exceptionally successful company.

That’s a bit too much! So just take it easy okay? With intensifiers, less is more. It’s better to have one or two really appropriate intensifiers than to have too many in your sentence, right?

Now, not all intensifiers are high-intensity. Not everything in life is so extreme, right? So we also use intensifiers to show medium and low intensity. For medium intensity, these are really common ones.

  • really
  • very
  • pretty
  • quite
  • particularly

So these intensifiers are not quite as strong and they’re not quite as intense. But they are good to use if you want to emphasise a point a little, but not too much.

Your resume is impressive.
Your resume is quite impressive.

Those desserts are good.
Those desserts are particularly good.

The movie was okay but it got pretty violent towards the ends.

And for low intensity, you could use:

  • mildly
  • relatively
  • somewhat

So these are low strength intensifiers. They’re useful to emphasise that the adjective is not strong.

So imagine that you went to a comedy show last night and it was okay. It was kind of funny. Definitely wasn’t as funny as you thought it would be though. So the show was mildly amusing. Not much of a compliment for a comedy show if it was mildly amusing.

So let’s compare intensifiers.

She’s been stressed lately.
She’s been mildly stressed lately.
She’s been pretty stressed lately.
She’s been incredibly stressed lately.

See how we can add meaning and emphasis to our sentence just by adding these intensifiers? Learning to use them is definitely going to help your English to sound more powerful and confident.

So it’s time for your homework! It’s your turn to write some sentences in the comments below this video.

We’re expecting serious weather conditions tomorrow. So can you see the adjective in that sentence there? ‘serious’, right?

So I want you to take this sentence and rewrite it three times in the comments with a high, medium and low intensifier. Let’s see how many different sentences we can get in the comments together.

Well that’s it for this lesson. And now you know how to add more emotion into your English and how to express yourself clearly and naturally using intensifiers. So please do write even more sentences in the comments below this video. I read them, I see them and I love giving little tweaks and corrections to make sure that you’ve understood my lesson correctly.

And if you did enjoy the lesson, please give it a ‘like’ and subscribe to the mmmEnglish Channel. I make new English lessons here every week so don’t be a stranger, come say ‘hello’ and come and check out some of my other lessons, right here.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next lesson. Bye for now!

mmmEnglish Video Lessons are a series of video lessons created to build confidence in English learners and focus on English in daily life. Download them and watch them anywhere! Subscribe to my YouTube Channel to be the first to get my new videos, and come and say hi on my Facebook page!!