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  1. #1
    ülküilhan is offline Newbie
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    Default gradable or non-gradable

    hi everyone,
    I am little bit confused about gradable and non-gradable adjectives. I know what it is but there is no logical explanation. For example; limited, mind-blowing and steep what are they ? I hope one can help me.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: gradable or non-gradable

    It's not always clear whether an adjective is gradable or not and sometimes you will find usage that goes against the rules taught, but ask yourself whether something can be measured- you can measure steepness, so it's gradable. If it's a clear yes/no question, then it normally shouldn't be gradable- something either blows your mind or it doesn't.

    We would probably agree that a very steep hill is steep, but we may disagree around the middle- you might say a hill is steep but I may say it's not that steep, but we agree that we are talking about an incline. However, you might think a film is mind-blowing, but if I disagree, it's not a question of degree- I simply didn't find it that good- you say yes and I say no.

  3. #3
    TheParser is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: gradable or non-gradable

    Quote Originally Posted by ülküilhan View Post
    hi everyone,
    I am little bit confused about gradable and non-gradable adjectives. I know what it is but there is no logical explanation. For example; limited, mind-blowing and steep what are they ? I hope one can help me.
    *****NOT A TEACHER *****
    ***********************


    Ulkuilhan,


    Many of us native speakers (like me) are also very

    confused.

    (1) For example, most books classify "unique" as non-gradable.

    Yet those of us who say "very unique" do not feel that we are

    speaking "bad" English.

    (2) And one English helpline (of course, I shall not name it!)

    tells its visitors that "very beautiful" is incorrect (!), even

    though I imagine 99.99% of native speakers treat "beautiful"

    as gradable.

    (3) In October of last year (2010!!!), I came across a helpful

    article on this subject. You may have already read it, but if

    you have not, I suggest that you do. I have noticed that

    usingenglish.com allows posters to link to other English helplines.

    There is only one problem: I do not know how to link. So you need

    to go to Google and type in:

    Gradable and Non-gradable Adjectives English Club


    THANK YOU

  4. #4
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    apex2000 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: gradable or non-gradable

    Unique is finite; there are gradations - you may haer someone say 'he is a bit unique' but that has no meaning. Either he is unique - the only one of that kind - or he is not. He cannot be inbetween.

    Beautiful is gradable. She is very beautiful is quite common, and she is quite beautiful or she is not very beautiful and, of course the simple she is beautiful.

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