However, adverbs can be divided into various units. Each unit has unique functions with the principal aim of modifying the action word in a sentence. In this post, we are going to discuss one such classification of adverbs called the adverbs of degree.
To define them in simple words, they are the type of adverbs that describe the extent of action. Their basic job is to indicate how much. But that is not enough information to learn them. Let us discuss with some examples below to understand them precisely.
What are adverbs of degree?
Let us start with adverbs. Adverbs are the words that belong to the eight parts of speech that help us describe a verb, adjective, or another verb in a sentence more precisely with added information. These words are divided into several units, where each unit has different functions. While some try to describe how often an action occurs, some try to express to what extent an action occurs. When adverbs perform the latter function, they are said to be adverbs of degree.
So, in simple words, adverbs of degree are the type of adverbs that help us indicate the intensity or the degree of action. They tell us to what extent an action occurs or How Much.
Adverbs of degree are words like too, enough, extremely, very, quite, etc. These words modify not only verbs but also adjectives and other adverbs in a sentence. Now, let us look at some examples.
- This book is quite good.
- I think the movie is too slow.
- Your song was very nice.
- Is your tea hot enough?
As we can see, the bolded words describe the degree or intensity of something in a sentence. Hence, they are named as the adverbs of degree.
Usage of adverbs of degree
Now that we know the definition of adverbs of degree, let us focus on their usage in a sentence.
Adverbs of degree are usually used with helping verbs or auxiliary verbs. That means they are commonly placed after an auxiliary verb such as to have and to be and right before other verbs.
- The song was very soothing.
- I eat too much.
Also, some adverbs of degree such as enough and too have multiple functions. Such as
Enough: “Enough” functions both as an adverb and as a determiner. As an adverb, it tries to express something that is to the necessary degree. They are usually used right after the adjective or adverb.
- Your house is big enough. (after the adjective)
- My coffee is hot enough. (after the adjective)
- You reached here early enough. (after the adverb)
As a determiner, it tries to describe something that is as much as necessary. Here, enough is used before a noun.
I had enough food.
Too: While too is always used as an adverb, they have two distinct usage and meanings. One is to describe “also” and is used at the end of the modified word. The other usage is to describe something that is excessive. In this case, they are used before the adverb or adjective.
- Do you like ice cream? Me too!
- My soup is too hot.
So, adverbs of degree can have multiple functions and meanings. But as discussed earlier, their primary job is to describe the intensity of something in different contexts.