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    #1

    What's wrong with this...

    Hi:

    Can anybody tell me the answer to...

    Why can’t we say ‘the beach was very wonderful’?

    What is wrong with it grammatically?

    Thanks for the help,
    Terry


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    #2

    Re: What's wrong with this...

    Quote Originally Posted by terry.echols View Post
    Hi:

    Can anybody tell me the answer to...

    Why can’t we say ‘the beach was very wonderful’?

    What is wrong with it grammatically?

    Thanks for the help,
    Terry
    Because wonderful is what is called a strong adjective (some course books give it different names). The corresponding ordinary adjective would be nice. With ordinary adjectives you can use very but not with strong adjectives. With strong adjectives you can use adverbs like absolutely, simply...

    I see you're stationed in Italy. Try it out in Italian, you'll see it probably works the same way. I don't think you can say molto meraviglioso but you can say assolutamente meraviglioso.

    Try saying very with the strong adjectives below. You'll see it doesn't work.

    Ordinary............. strong
    bad.. .....................awful
    ugly.................... hideous
    tasty ...................delicious

  1. banderas's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What's wrong with this...

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post

    Ordinary............. strong
    bad.. .....................awful
    ugly.................... hideous
    tasty ...................delicious
    Yes, Naomimalan is absolutely right (not very right).

    Strong adjectives imply an absolute quality, so "very" sounds odd with them.

  2. stuartnz's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What's wrong with this...

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post

    Try saying very with the strong adjectives below. You'll see it doesn't work.

    Ordinary............. strong
    bad.. .....................awful
    ugly.................... hideous
    tasty ...................delicious

    It may just be a feature of NZ English, but in every example you list above, "very" would not be thought incorrect, unnatural or nonstandard here. "Very awful", "very hideous" and "very delicious" are not uncommon. The usage is similar to that found in the US Constitution with its call for "a more perfect union", which upsets some who say that a marker of degree like "more" can't be used with a superlative like "perfect". The use of "very" with "delicious" would be particularly unremarkable, and would be the most commonly heard of the three. "Very wonderful", though, does sound a little awkward, and I can't recall having read or heard it before now.
    Last edited by stuartnz; 10-Apr-2008 at 00:37. Reason: insert missing quote marks.

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