Strong adjectives

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Strong adjectives

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Weve already heard how Goldilocks was terrified by the three bears. It was a fantastic story, wasnt it? And maybe you have stories that are just as amazing in your countries! These are strong adjectives and they might be difficult to learn. But they can make your English more interesting when youre speaking and writing. Listen to 6 Minute Vocabulary - Rob and Catherine will tell you all about them.

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Rob Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Rob, and this is Catherine.

Catherine Hi! Today we’ve got a fantastic programme for you. It’s all about strong adjectives.

Rob Yes, it is. We’ll give you a wonderful explanation of what they are and how to use them…

Catherine We’ll also give you some very useful advice on how to use intensifiers with adjectives…

Rob And there’ll be a fabulous quiz…

Catherine And finally we’ll give you an absolutely amazing tip to help you learn vocabulary.

Rob Wow. OK, let’s get going then, there’s no time to waste. Here’s Tom. Now, he took his girlfriend to the cinema and then for dinner afterwards. Very romantic! Let’s hear how the evening went. While you’re listening, try to answer this question: was it a successful evening out?

INSERT Tom We went to see that new film - I thought it was quite funny , but Jenny thought it was hilarious . We went for a meal: The food was not so bad but the service was absolutely terrible ! We waited nearly an hour to get our food. When it finally arrived, I was absolutely starving !

Rob So - the meal didn’t go too well: Tom and Jenny had to wait a long time for their food - nearly an hour! What do you think about that Catherine?

Catherine I wouldn’t last that long. Twenty minutes, and I’d be gone.

Rob Well, luckily, they liked the film. Listen to this clip:

INSERT 1 CLIP 1 I thought it was quite funny , but Jenny thought it was hilarious .

Catherine Tom said he thought the film was quite funny . Quite funny . Now, when we use an ordinary adjective, like funny , we can add a word like quite , or very , or just a little bit , to give more information about the adjective.

Rob So, we can say the film was quite funny, or very funny , or just a little bit funny . These words are called intensifiers - and they are quite useful .

Catherine They’re very useful actually. Yes. So Tom thought the film was funny; but Jenny thought it was hilarious . And the word hilarious means - very, very funny.

Rob Hilarious is a special kind of adjective - it already includes the idea of very.

Catherine Right, and we call this type of adjective a strong adjective, and there are lots of them. For example, to mean very good, we can say:

Rob Wonderful! Fabulous! Amazing!

Catherine Thank you Rob. Three fantastic words there. But most of the time, we don’t use intensifiers like quite , or very , or just a little bit with these strong adjectives, and that’s because the idea of very is already in the word. So for example, hilarious means very funny , so a little bit hilarious would mean a little bit very funny , and that doesn’t make sense, does it Rob?

Rob Absolutely not, no. OK, well back to the clip. Tom used a couple of other strong adjectives, too. Listen again. What’s the strong adjective?

INSERT 1 CLIP 2 The food was not so bad but the service was absolutely terrible !

Catherine Well, Tom used the ordinary adjective bad , and he used it with an intensifier when he said not so bad.

Rob But the strong adjective was terrible . Terrible means very bad .

Catherine And this time, Tom used an intensifier that we usually only use with strong adjectives - he said it was absolutely terrible. So, when we want to make a strong adjective even stronger, we need to use one of these special intensifiers, like absolutely . So, we say very bad , but we say absolutely terrible .

Rob And we don’t usually say absolutely bad . Here’s Tom using another strong adjective. Listen carefully, and see if you can catch it!

INSERT 1 CLIP 3 We waited for nearly an hour to get our food. When it finally arrived, I was absolutely starving !

Catherine Tom used the phrase absolutely starving . Starving is a strong adjective, which means very hungry , and he used the intensifier absolutely to make it even stronger. Absolutely starving .

IDENT 6 Minute Vocabulary from BBC Learning English.

Rob And today our absolutely wonderful topic is strong adjectives and intensifiers.

Catherine And now it’s time for a very quick quiz. Question one. What is the strong adjective for funny?

Rob And the answer is hilarious . Question two. What is the strong adjective and intensifier for very bad ?

Catherine And the answer is absolutely terrible . Just one more question! Can you name three strong adjectives that mean good ?

Rob And in the programme today we had fantastic, wonderful, fabulous and amazing , which describes me I think. And if you got all those right, you’re absolutely wonderful .

Catherine And we’ve just got time for that fantastic vocabulary tip we promised you. When you’re learning adjectives, make a picture in your mind of someone or something that reminds you of that adjective. It will help you remember the word. For example, I think that Rob is absolutely fantastic .

Rob You’re just saying that Catherine, thank you very much.

Catherine There’s more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again soon for more 6 Minute Vocabulary. Bye!

Rob Bye!

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