Gradable vs. Non-gradable adjectives

A- Complete the following sentences using these adjectives: tiny – dirty – small – filthy – terrified – scared (see key at the bottom)

1) Don’t touch me! Your hands are absolutely ………………
2) She couldn’t talk while she was watching the horror film. She was really………………
3) The room is rather………………. I think we had better look for another hotel room.

B- Why are some adjectives appropriate in some cases and not in others? What’s the difference between small and tiny, scared and terrified, dirty and filthy? Complete the table below with: absolutely, rather, awful, very, cold, completely, great, small, filthy, exhausted, have, don’t have, scared, huge, boiling.

GRADABLE NON-GRADABLE ADJECTIVES
Gradable adjectives can be modified by grading adverbs such as ……….., fairly, extremely, …………….. , etc. Non-gradable adjectives can be modified by adverbs such as ……………., …………………., utterly, totally, etc.
They ………… comparative and superlative forms. They ………………. comparative and superlative forms.
…………………….. Tiny
Dirty …………
Tired ………….
………….. Terrified
Big ……………….
Good ………………
……………… Freezing
Hot ……………….
Bad ………………..

C- Can you provide your own examples using these adjectives?

KEY:
A- Filthy – scared – tiny
B- Gradable: Rather – very – have – small – scared – cold
Non-gradable: absolutely – completely – don’t have – filthy – exhausted – huge – great – boiling – awful

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