English Learner Article How to use the adverb 'highly'

Summary: Collocations with 'Highly' How to use the adverb 'highly' in English.

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Why does "highly" seem to collocate well with certain adjectives and not others? Is there any particular pattern or model that may be followed, such as with "absolutely" which collocates with "strong adjectives"? For example: “absolutely freezing”, but not "absolutely cold", necessarily.

It seems to me that adjectives which represent special qualities go well with the adverb "highly". The adverb "highly" is also likely to be used in highly specialized areas, which can make it difficult to say, at times, just exactly which adjective might go well with it. On the part of the teacher trying to inform the student, it would be a rather subjective viewpoint. One really needs to know and understand the context. There are, however, certain common adjectives with which “highly” does go well. Anyone with a good ear for language, as I see it, should be able to determine which adjectives these are. However, I would say that just exactly which adjectives do go well with 'highly' can be highly unpredictable because 'highly' really seems to go with special qualities or attributes given to 'something' within any field or subject matter. This could or would make the use of 'highly' highly contextual. The adverb 'highly' seems to go, mostly, with English adjectives that have a Latin base.

Google Highly Contextual | Highly Rooted

It seems that “highly” occurs in technical and scientific type contexts, though I would not limit its use to those two broad areas only. I think that the majority of the time “highly” appears to go with attributes and qualities that would, generally speaking, be positive.

Google Highly + any word | Highly Specialised


Highly + Adjective:

1. highly aware
2. highly abundant number
3. highly acclaimed
4. highly adept
5. highly advanced
6. highly addictive
7. highly aggressive
8. highly anticipated
9. highly capable
10. highly commendable
11. highly compensated employee
12. highly competitive
13. highly complex
14. highly concentrated
15. highly confident
16. highly confidential
17. highly contextual
18. highly creative
19. highly critical
20. highly dependable
21. highly dependent
22. highly destructive
23. highly developed
24. highly disciplined
25. highly dynamic
26. highly effective
27. highly elaborate
28. highly evolved
29. highly experimental
30. highly explosive
31. highly gifted
32. highly imaginative
33. highly improbable
34. highly inconsiderate
35. highly infective
36. highly infectious
37. highly intelligent
38. highly insignificant
39. highly intricate
40. highly opinionated
41. highly organized
42. highly predictable
43. highly productive
44. highly profitable
45. highly probable
46. highly proficient
47. highly qualified
48. highly questionable
49. highly reasonable
50. highly recommended
51. highly regarded
52. highly reliable
53. highly respected
54. highly rooted
55. highly selective
56. highly sensitive
57. highly significant
58. highly skilled
59. highly sophisticated
60. highly specialized
61. highly successful
62. highly suspect
63. highly talented
64. highly technical
65. highly toxic
66. highly trained
67. highly unaware
68. highly unknown
69. highly unlikely
70. highly unpredictable
71. highly unreasonable
72. highly unreliable
73. highly unusual
74. highly visible
75. highly vulnerable

Practice writing sentences with the adverb 'highly'. Got any ideas? Any interests?

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