Grammar Patterns

Graded and ungraded adjectives

Part 1: Graded adjectives

A graded adjective is one that is sometimes modified in terms of more and less, in order to indicate the degree to which the quality is present. For example, we say something is very interesting or fairly simple. Graded adjectives are sometimes used to compare two or more things. For example, we say that one thing is bigger than another or as big as another, or that something is the best in a group.Some graded adjectives are fairly frequently found with a grading adverb or in a comparative or superlative form. Other graded adjectives are only occasionally graded. We have chosen examples, below, which show the adjectives when they are graded or in a comparative or superlative form, and the grading adverb, when it occurs, is shown as part of the pattern of the adjective.Graded adjectives have many meanings, but the most frequent graded adjectives belong to the following meaning groups:In the lists below we show only some of the most frequent adjectives which have at least one graded sense. Many have other senses than the ones indicated here. Many of them also have ungraded senses (see Part 5 below).The 'big', 'quick', and 'old' groupThe 'happy' groupThe 'intelligent' groupThe 'rich' groupThe 'aware' groupThe 'clean' groupThe 'difficult' and 'easy' groupThe 'awful' and 'superb' groupThe 'interesting' groupThe 'normal' and 'odd' groupThe 'important' groupThe 'obvious' groupThe 'near' and 'remote' groupThe 'cheap' and 'peaceful' group

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