Gradable and Ungradable Adjectives for intermediate learners
'Gradable' means being able to put something into different grades. So, What are the differences between gradable and ungradable adjectives?
What Are Gradable and Ungradable Adjectives?
In English, based on whether we can measure them or not, adjectives are divided into two groups. Let us take a quick look at the list below:
- Gradable Adjectives
- Ungradable Adjectives ( Also Called Non-gradable Adjectives)
Gradable adjectives are those that we can measure. In other words, they have a point on a scale. 'Hot' and 'cold' are adjectives that can be measured. We can say 'a little cold', 'cold', 'extremely cold'. Take a look at the following examples:
The weather is a little
It is extremely
Modifying Gradable Adjectives
We can use some adverbs in order to strengthen or weaken a gradable adjective. Take a look at the list below:
Now let us see some examples below:
It is useful to know that among the adverbs mentioned, 'very' is the most common with using gradable adjectives. Let us study the following examples carefully:
This car is
Contrary to gradable adjectives, ungradable adjectives cannot be measured. They are either absolute (dead), extremes (boiling), or classifying (nuclear) adjectives. Take a look at the following examples:
Be careful when you want to pour the
As you can see, we cannot say 'a little boiling', or 'very boiling' because boiling is a fixed state.
As I was walking along the pavement, I came across a
Please note that someone cannot be 'a little dead' or 'very dead'.
Modifying Ungradable Adjectives
Just like gradable adjectives, we have some non-grading adverbs that we can use with ungradable adjectives in order to add an extra impact to them. Take a look at the list below:
Make sure you study the following examples carefully:
Normally, Ungradable adjectives cannot be made weaker or stronger. Therefore, study the following examples carefully:
This is a
My grades are
Be careful that not all adverbs can get along with all adjectives. You have to pay attention to their collocations.