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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Lesson #44: Gradable and Ungradable Adjectives

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hello and welcome to the English with

Andrea podcast I'm your English teacher

Andrea Giordano from study with Andrea


I'm so happy you joined me today for

episode 44 of the podcast if you want to

follow along with a transcript of this

episode just go to study with Andrea

dot-com and search for episode 44 there

you can read along as I speak so you

don't miss a thing this is also a great

tool for teachers who want to implement

this podcast into their curriculum all

right so let's get started in last

week's episode we talked about the order

of adjectives in a list in this episode

we will be talking about gradable and

ungraded adjectives let's start by

talking about what the root word of

gradable and ungraded liz grade a grade

is another word for the intensity

strength or level of something so a

grade is how strong something is when we

talk about gradable adjectives we are

talking about adjectives that have the

ability to be more or less intense

stronger or weaker based on adding an

adverb or intensifier in front of it

examples of gradable adjectives are

beautiful good and tired you know they

are gradable because they can be more or

less intense something can be a little

beautiful or it can be

extremely beautiful do you see how it

changed intensity when I added an

intensifier in front of it you can have

something that's slightly good or

extremely good to show the intensity of

a gradable adjective use a particular

adverb before it most

adjectives are gradable so you're used

to seeing these kind of adjectives here

are some examples of gradable adjectives

big crazy good hot pretty rich small

tired ugly wet those are all gradable

adjectives because they can be more or

less intense and intensifiers for

gradable adjectives include a little a

bit extremely slightly vary there are

many intensifiers for gradable

adjectives now let's talk about the

other kind of adjectives ungraded

adjectives there are actually two types

of ungraded or non gradable adjectives

and the first one we will talk about are

extreme adjectives now ungraded

adjectives cannot be graded it means

they cannot really be made more or less

intense they can't really get stronger

or weaker now extreme adjectives tend to

have more specific meanings than

gradable adjectives so they don't need

to be leveled up or leveled down they

already show their strengths and their

definition in their meaning for example

the adjective freezing

means very cold it's not possible to say

he is very freezing because freezing is

already a very strong adjective it

doesn't need that very in front of it to

show that it's strong that would be an

extreme adjective example now ungraded

adjectives still may have intensifiers

before them but they are usually

different than the intensifiers we use

with gradable adjectives so let me give

you some examples of extreme adjectives

first I'm going to say the list and then

I'm going to give you little definitions

with each one in case you don't know

these words ancient awful enormous

freezing hideous stunning tiny so

ancient means very old awful means very

bad enormous means very big freezing

means very cold hideous means very ugly

stunning means very beautiful and tiny

means very small so you can see that

very is already built into the meaning

of the word we don't need to add those

gradable intensifiers in front of it but

we do have a few intensifiers for

extreme adjectives here they are

absolutely really so so you could say

that movie was so awful but you can't

say that movie was very awful it's a

little more awkward

alright and the other type of ungraded

adjectives are absolute adjectives

absolute adjectives are all-or-nothing


for example something cannot be very

dead it's either dead or it's not you

can't have a slightly perfect afternoon

it's either perfect or not you can't be

a little bit married

you're either married or you're not

right so with those absolute adjectives

we don't use those gradable intensifiers

in front of them here are some examples

of absolute adjectives acceptable dead

destroyed finished impossible married

necessary and ruined so intensifiers for

extreme adjectives depend on the exact

adjective but sometimes you can use

absolutely or really so that gives you

an overview of gradable and ungraded

adjectives I hope you learned a lot from

this lesson and learned which adverbs

you can use with which adjectives and as

we end this episode I want to say thank

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alright that's it for this episode of

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so much for joining me everybody and

until next time happy learning



The Description of Lesson #44: Gradable and Ungradable Adjectives