Intensifying Adverbs – Different Ways to Say VERY MUCH

October 1, 2018 - Priscila Pereira

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Do you use “very much” all the time! There are different ways to express that in English and intensifying adverbs are going to help you do that! It’s very simple, I promise!


hey, friends! How are things?!

Today’s post is going to help you improve your range of vocabulary and talk like native speakers. Sometimes we want to intensify an adjective or a verb. Most of the time, students tend to use the word “very much” to do that.

I am not against the use of “very much”. However, there are so many different ways to intensify a word in English.

Can you use any adverb to intensify another word?

Yes and no! While there are many adverbs that will help you give the idea of very much, there are specific combinations (collocations). Not all combinations will sound natural, so you need to be careful about that.


What words can I use then?

I am here to help you, so get ready because I will show you common adverbs and possible combinations to help you get started.



Highly is an intensifying adverb that can give the idea of “very much”.  You can use Highly with words that express  probability (likely and unusual for example)

Susie is never late. This is highly unusual! Should we call her?

It is highly unlikely that I will finish this  Project on time!



These two words can also express the idea of “very much”.   You will use them with adjectives that have “extreme meanings” (Strong adjectives, I will make a post to talk about Strong adjectives) which we can NOT use “very” with. For example, you can not say very exhausted, but you can say absolutely exhausted. ( you can not say absolutely tired, ok? tired is not an extreme adjective, so in this case, just say “very tired”)

Other possible combinations include: ridiculous,  stupid,  wrong, impossible,  alone,  convinced, devasted, miserable,  etc.

Utterly is a little bit more formal than absolutely!



These are other adverbs you need to start using TODAY! The also give the idea of very much.  However, they may have a specific meaning and use. I will explain it to you and give you some possible combinations.



You usually use strongly with  verbs,  particularly verbs that are connected with the idea of giving an opinion.

I stronly believe you should not take that job!

The president strongly recommends we stay home this weekend due to the Hurricane!

Other possible combinations:  oppose, support, condemn, argue, object, feel, deny, suggest, influence, oppose



If you use this adverb, understand that you will be giving an idea of “sadness”. This adverb. is more commonly used in “writing”

Possible combinations:  disappointing or disappointed,  critcize,  regret, complain, resent, cry,



This adverb is commonly used with words that describe feelings.  It is also a little bit more common in writing, but you can use in spoken language too.

Possible combinations:   ashamed, sorry,  shocked,  hurt,  affected, unhappy, concerned.



If you use this word you are also giving an extreme idea that seems  unreasonable or unbelievable

Possible combinations:  expensive, cheap,  easy, low,  high, long,  short, small, large,  early


There you go! Now you can start creating your sentences so that you can learn and memorize these adverbs!


have a great week!


Priscila Pereira

Starbucks and TV Series lover: juggling with teaching, blogging, and a YouTube life! I’m teacher Prix and I want to help you talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime in English! This blog is for English speakers who are looking for an effective blog. Get inspired by hundreds of different posts for all English levels, so that you can finally learn English easily and effectively on the internet.

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