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.