Grammar Patterns

Graded and ungraded adjectives

The 'absolute' and 'mere' group

These adjectives are used before nouns to emphasize the quality of something. We include here own, which is used to emphasize ownership. (See also meaning group 4.8 above.)
It's absolute nonsense to say we aren't happy with the deal.
The mere thought of Laura cast shadows over the otherwise brilliantly sunny day.
The sheer volume of stuff they have to read, let alone take in and understand, is amazing.
The redundancy of skilled and experienced workers is a terrible waste and a clear sign of an unhealthy economy.
  • absolute
  • awful
  • complete
  • dead
  • mere
  • outright
  • own
  • perfect
  • positive
  • pure
  • rare
  • raw
  • sheer
  • simple
  • single
  • strict
  • supreme
  • terrible
  • total
  • utter
  • very
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