Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. zaed_salah's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Libya
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 69
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    Gradable and non gradable adjectives

    hello every one...

    I am a bit confused about gradable and non gradable adjectives.
    I have read that there are some adjectives that are gradable and therefore can be modified with 'very' like; very hot, very old,.And other adjectives that are not gradable ( also called extreme adjectives), so we can modify them with ; extremely, absolutely, utterly ..etc.
    My question is; how can I differentiate between them!!? For example, is 'ridiculous' gradable or not.
    Can any one please give me a very simple answer?

    Thanks all in advance.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 163
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: Gradable and non gradable adjectives

    yes 'ridiculous' is gradable as you define it.

    His clothing was extremely, utterly, disgracefully, amazingly, and ridiculously ridiculous! :D

    however I tried to answer your main question, I just couldn't come up with an example of an adjective that [i]couldn't[i] be modified as such! could you please give me an example of an 'ungradable' adjective? Can somebody?

    Some, like 'dead,' 'married,' 'pregnant,' etc. are logically not used with these modifiers because they represent a state that has no in-betweens. I suppose that formally it would be wrong to say "very dead" or "kind of pregnant" - but I have to tell you that these are famously funny jokes for just that reason. There is no grammar written in stone (and hence no rule) about which adjectives can or cannot be modified by a word specifying some degree of the effect.

    So if you want to know the answer for any particular word, think logically about if the word has possible degrees of effect:

    You are either dead or you aren't, there is no in-between
    you are either pregnant or not, again no 'halfway'
    you are either present or absent, no percentage thereof.

    And remember, you can use one of these 'extreme' adjectives with a modifier of degree for comic effect or to emphasize your point.

    example (emphasis): "the thought of death was very present in my mind"
    example (comedy): "He is just a little bit dead"

    good luck!
    Jesse

  2. zaed_salah's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Libya
      • Current Location:
      • Germany

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 69
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: Gradable and non gradable adjectives

    Thanks for the explanation.
    I agree with you that I could not find specific rule for this grammar issue, and about your example for ' ridiculous', I have read from English teacher blog that it's gradable and we can use 'very' with it..!!!, that makes extremely confused.
    From my point of view there is no such real rule for that, as I noticed that there more than exceptions and most adjectives are more likely to written as chunks.

    I'll give an example for non gradable adjective; boiling (very hot); we can say absolutely boiling , but we can not say very boiling. On the other hand, 'hot' can be gradabe as in 'very hot', but I am familiar with ' extremely hot'.

    I read that there are too gradable and non gradable verbs !!!?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Sep 2006
    • Posts: 8
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: Gradable and non gradable adjectives

    I suppose that gradable adjectives might be considered as adjectives which have comperative and superlative forms.

  3. RonBee's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2003
    • Posts: 16,570
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: Gradable and non gradable adjectives

    Quote Originally Posted by zaed_salah View Post
    Thanks for the explanation.
    I agree with you that I could not find specific rule for this grammar issue, and about your example for ' ridiculous', I have read from English teacher blog that it's gradable and we can use 'very' with it..!!!, that makes extremely confusing.
    From my point of view there is no such real rule for that, as I noticed that there more than exceptions and most adjectives are more likely to written as chunks.

    I'll give an example for non gradable adjective; boiling (very hot); we can say absolutely boiling , but we can not say very boiling. On the other hand, 'hot' can be gradabe as in 'very hot', but I am familiar with ' extremely hot'.

    I read that there are too gradable and non gradable verbs !!!?
    I think (as has been stated) that by "gradable" you mean that there are degrees of a particular adjective. Examples:
    hot, very hot, extremely hot
    cold, very cold, extremely cold

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,225
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: Gradable and non gradable adjectives

    A gradable adjective can be modified to show various degrees, both strengthening and weakening- something can be rather/reasonably/fairly/very good. A non-gradable adjective can only be modified to intensify- something can be amazing/utterly amazing, but we don't normally say reasonably amazing.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •