Strong or extreme adjectives are more expressive than regular or normal adjectives. See these examples below:
- I’m tired (tired is a regular adjective).
- I’m exhausted (exhausted is a strong adjective).
We can use some adverbs with regular and strong adjectives.
- I’m very tired* (= I’m exhausted).
* “very tired” means exhausted.
We can use very with regular adjectives but we can not use very with strong adjectives.
Adverbs used with regular adjectives:
- very, extremely, immensely, intensely, hugely
We can not use these adverbs above with strong adjectives. There are other adverbs that are used to give additional emphasis to the strong adjectives.
Adverbs used with strong adjectives:
- absolutely, completely, utterly
Example: I’m absolutely exhausted.
Really and pretty can be used with both regular and strong adjectives. Look at these sentences below:
- I’m really/pretty tired.
- I’m really/pretty exhausted.
Here’s a list of some regular adjectives and their strong adjectives:
Normal adjectives Strong adjectives
big→enormous; huge, gigantic, giant, immense, colossal
small→tiny, minute, minuscule interesting→fascinating,gripping sad, upset→devastated, heartbroken, shattered happy→thrilled, delighted, ecstatic, overjoyed, over the moon surprised→amazed, astonished, astounded, flabbergasted, speechless surprising→astounding funny,amusing→hilarious good→excellent, perfect, ideal, wonderful, marvellous, amazing, splendid, great, fantastic, superb, smashing bad, nasty→awful, terrible, disgusting, dreadful, horrible, revolting ugly→awful, hideous beautiful, pretty, good-looking, attractive→gorgeous, stunning fat→obese clever→brilliant silly→ridiculous, ludicrous, idiotic annoying→infuriating, exasperating sure→certain,positive similar→identical unusual→unique
tasty→delicious thirsty→parched hot→boiling, stifling, baking cold→freezing, frozen wet→soaked, drenched afraid→terrified scared, frightened→terrified, petrified scary→terrifying angry→furious, livid difficult→impossible tired→exhausted dirty→filthy clean→spotless, immaculate crowded→packed old→ancient spoiled→ruined expensive→extortionate,astronomical valuable→priceless
I found out a very interesting website that explains a little more about extreme adjectives and regular adjectives in English. See more at: Extreme Adjectives in English