Improving vocabulary is a must for ESL learners who really want to constantly enhance their English skills, and this is also an important task for translators to do to keep expanding their ability.
One way to improve our vocabulary and even to score higher in a writing task/test (for students) is to be able to use a variety of words to avoid monotonous writing/expression. By this way, we can demonstrate the scope of the vocabulary that we have mastered. Inspired by the IB (International Baccalaureate) Writing Guide available online provided by Mt. Vernon High School, this article summarizes briefly some words (adverb/adjective) that can substitute the use of “very”, one of the most frequent word used both spoken and written. This is not only helpful to improve the writing skills but also to enhance the three other skills (reading, speaking and listening).
The word “very” (adjective/adverb) is used to emphasize an adjective, adverb, or phrase, for example: It feels very cold today. The following words can be used to say “very”, but be careful; some have a certain connotation or special use. Therefore, some important information is added to the list below complete with examples mainly taken from Longman Dictionary Online. Hope you find this short compilation useful.
- Really [very much, extremely] e.g. It was really cold last night.
- Truly [really, used to emphasize that the way you are describing something is really true] e.g. His work is truly original.
- Extremely [very much; to a very great degree] e.g. Earthquakes are extremely difficult to predict.
- Absolutely [completely and in every way] e.g. He made his reasons for resigning absolutely clear.
- Dramatically [greatly and suddenly] e.g. The sales fell dramatically last year.
- Immensely [very much, extremely] e.g. Champagne wines became immensely popular in the 18th century.
- Exceedingly [extremely, very much] e.g. Thank you. You’ve been exceedingly kind.
- Fully [completely] e.g. I am fully aware of your problems.
- Immeasurably [used to emphasize that something is too big or too extreme to be measured] e.g. The refugee problem has now reached immeasurable proportions.
- Incredibly [extremely] e.g. Nicotine is incredibly addictive.
- Infinitely [very much, especially when comparing things] His school is infinitely better than the last one I went to.
- Intensely [having a very strong effect or felt very strongly] e.g. Young people today are under intense pressure to succeed.
- Mightily [very] e.g. a mightily impressive piece of work
- Overly [too or very] e.g. Your views on economics are overly simplistic.
- Powerfully [very] e.g. Christie is very powerfully built.
- Bitterly [in a way that produces or shows feelings of great sadness or anger] e.g. He was bitterly disappointed.
- Obsessively [thinking or worrying about something all the time, so that you do not think about other things enough – used to show disapproval] e.g. She is obsessively concerned with cleanliness and order.
- Excruciatingly [extremely painful] e.g. When I bend my arm, I feel is excruciatingly painful.
- Profusely [very; produced or existing in large quantities] e.g. The wound was bleeding profusely.
- Richly [if something is richly decorated, it is decorated a lot, in a way that is beautiful] e.g. It is such a richly carved ceiling.
- Severely [very badly or to a great degree] e.g. The town was severely damaged in the war.
- Shockingly [very surprising, upsetting, and difficult to believe] e.g. It is shockingly difficult for me to believe the news that Mark had hanged himself.
Compiled by Luh Windiari
[TranslationPapers Bali – translation agency in Bali-accurate and reliable]