Gradable and Extreme Adjectives- Anecdotes Game

Level: Intermediate

Topic: General

Grammar Topic: Adjectives and Adverbs

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Type: Lesson Plans

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Lesson Plan Text

Gradable and Extreme Adjectives- Anecdotes Game
Take turns being the person telling a personal story and being the person listening and 
reacting. Both of you should try to use as many of the words in the table below (including 
the adverbs in the left-hand column) as you can while you do so, ticking off individual 
words with different coloured pens as you do so. Note that most of the adverbs cannot go 
with all of the adjectives. Your partner can cross off your tick if the same word has already 
been used or if they think that the word has been used in the wrong way. The person with 
the most ticks at the end of the game is the winner. 
Useful phrases for reacting to people’s anecdotes
Didn’t you feel…?
I guess it was…/ I’m sure it was…/ I suppose you felt…
I had a similar experience. It was…
That must have been…/ You must have felt…
That sounds…
Did you?/ Really? I would have been…/ Actually, I remember it being…

Useful adverbs + adjectives for telling anecdotes

(a little)
absolutely
completely
extremely
fairly
incredibly
not very
really
(slightly)
totally
utterly
very

amazing/ excellent/ fabulous/ good/ superb/ terrific/ wonderful
amusing/ funny/ hilarious
awful/ bad/ dreadful/ terrible
big/ enormous/ gigantic/ huge/ large/ massive
boring/ mind-numbing 
confusing/ mind-boggling
crammed/ crowded/ jam-packed/ packed
crazy/ eccentric
crucial/ essential/ important/ vital
delicious/ mouth-watering/ tasty
delightful/ lovely/ nice
difficult/ impossible/ tricky
dirty/ filthy
disgusting/ revolting/ yucky
ear-splitting/ loud/ noisy
exciting/ thrilling 
exhausting/ tiring
exorbitant/ expensive/ pricey
fascinating/ interesting
frantic/ worried 
frightening/ scary/ terrifying
gorgeous/ pretty/ stunning
horrible/ nasty
hungry/ starving
idiotic/ stupid
little/ small/ tiny
memorable/ unforgettable
parched/ thirsty
soaked/ wet

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2016

Extreme adjectives grammar presentation
All the lines of adjectives above can be divided into two kinds, those which can be graded 
from a low level to a high level (= gradable adjectives) and those which cannot, because 
they mean 
“very + gradable adjective” and so can only be used with adverbs that make 
them more extreme. Without looking above for now, put pairs of adjectives next to each 
other in the two boxes of the table below. Many others not below are also possible. 

+

+

extreme adjective (= ungradable)

= very +

gradable adjective

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2016

Partial answers
The gradable adjectives are in the right place below. Try to put the correct extreme 
adjective match next to each.  

adverbs before extreme adjectives

adverbs before gradable adjectives

+

+

extreme adjective (= ungradable)

= very +

gradable adjective

amusing/ funny
bad
big/ large
boring
confusing
crowded
difficult/ tricky
dirty
eccentric
exciting
expensive/ pricey
frightening/ scary
good
hungry
important
interesting
little/ small
loud/ noisy
memorable
nasty
nice
pretty
stupid
tasty
thirsty
tiring
wet
worried 
yucky

Check your answers with the first page, then put suitable adverbs into the top two boxes 
above. Rank the ones in the right-hand column from the strongest top to the least bottom. 
One adverb goes in both columns. The answers are on the next page. 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2016

Adverbs which go with gradable and extreme adjectives
Ones in brackets only go with negative adjectives. 

adverbs before extreme adjectives

absolutely

completely

really

totally

utterly

adverbs before gradable adjectives

incredibly
extremely
really
very
fairly
not very
(a little)/ (slightly)

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2016