How to Use Intensifiers

Have you ever wondered how you could describe and share your opinions more clearly? A great way to do so is by using intensifiers!

What are Intensifiers?

Intensifiers are modifiers in a sentence that give additional emotional context to the word it is modifying. They enhance, demonstrate emphasis or force, and are an effective way of getting your point across in a clear way.

How Do I Use Intensifiers?

Intensifiers are adverbs, adjectives, or adverbial phrases that strengthen the meaning of other expressions and show emphasis. Therefore, you would use them in instances where you’d like to emphasize an emotion within a phrase or sentence.

For example:

  • Today’s lesson was so interesting!
  • That handbag is really expensive.
  • Today was such a cold day.

What Are Some Other Popular Intensifiers in the U.S.?

One intensifier that is REALLY overused is: literally. If you watch videos on social media, you have most likely heard this word. This is one good example of why knowing the correct meaning of a word is so important! Be sure to keep your dictionary handy, look up these intensifiers, and learn how to use them correctly in a sentence.

Some other common intensifiers used in everyday American English are:

  • amazingly
  • at all
  • especially
  • extraordinarily
  • extremely
  • incredibly
  • outrageously
  • phenomenally
  • remarkably
  • super
  • terribly
  • totally
  • unusually
  • utterly
  • very
  • and, if you’re near Boston, wicked (Go Natural English is wicked awesome!)

Why Should I Use Intensifiers?

Aside from allowing you to express yourself more clearly, you will also be giving your sentences a more rounded and natural feel. Intensifiers are one important tool in your vocabulary toolbox that should not be overlooked! Intensifiers are an essential way of showing emotion, or showing the range of an emotion, as well as elevating your speech to a fluent level. A word of caution, though: intensifiers should not be overused! Sprinkle your favorite intensifiers in here and there — just not every sentence! — and watch how your fluency blossoms.

Check out Gabby’s take on intensifiers, below!

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