| | |

Use These 20 English Words Instead of Very + Adjective

How often do you use the word very when you are speaking English? I bet you use it quite often. There’s nothing wrong with using this word, but, as an English speaker, you should learn some other adjectives that can substitute the structure very + adjective. Keep reading to learn all about intensifiers. We will also provide you with a list with more than 30 adjectives you can use to avoid the structure very + adjective

Intensifiers in English 

Intensify means “to become or make more intense.” The intensifiers are words we use to make adjectives more intense. Adjectives are words that name an attribute. They are added before a noun to modify or describe it.  

The most common intensifiers are: veryreally, and extremely. Here are some examples of sentences using these words before an adjective: 

  • She is very intelligent. 
  • I am really happy to see you! 
  • They are extremely late to the wedding.  

Some other common intensifiers are: 

  • particularly 
    Example: The bed wasn’t particularly comfortable. 
  • incredibly 
    Example: The math test was incredibly difficult. I think I failed it. 
  • exceptionally 
    Example: The meeting went exceptionally well. 
  • unusually 
    Example: The babies are unusually quiet today. 
  • quite 
    Example: He is quite famous around here. 
bed woman
The bed wasn’t particularly comfortable.

Sentence structure 

When using intensifiers and adjectives, we will come across two different structures. Sometimes, we use the form to be + intensifier + adjective. This form is used to simply describe someone or something. Some examples are: 

  • He is very rich
  • She is quite busy today. 
  • They were extremely tired.  
tired man
John is extremely tired.

In some other cases, we use another sentence structure. The form to be + intensifier + adjective + infinitive is used to give a reason for the adjective or to to give an opinion. Check out the two examples below: 

  • My mom is very happy to help us move. (reason) 
  • It’s extremely difficult to study when you are tired. (opinion) 

Take a look at the video below for more information and examples about this sentence structure:

Instead of very + adjective, use… 

How often do you say very hungry? Or very big? Like we said before, there is nothing wrong with that, but most English learners end up using this structure because they don’t know other words to say what they mean.  

For instance, instead of very hungry, you could say starving. Instead of very big, you could say huge or enormous. Take a look at some other substitutions you can make: 


Instead of very bad, you can say awful. Here is one example: 

  • I didn’t like the book. To be honest, it is an awful book. 


Freezing is a good option for when you don’t want to say very cold. Check out this example: 

  • I need a jacket, gloves, and socks. It’s freezing in here! 
He is freezing!


Instead of saying very careful, go ahead and say cautious. Take a look at this example: 

  • You should be cautious when you go skiing. It is a dangerous sport. 


When you are very confused, you can say you are perplexed. Like in this example below: 

  • My dog was obviously perplexed by the arrival of a baby in the home. 


If something happens very often, we can say it is a frequent event. Here is one example: 

  • Storms are frequent here during the summer. 
Storms are frequent in the city.


Instead of the classic very good, go ahead and say excellent. Like in this example: 

  • This TV show is excellent. Can’t wait for the next episode! 


If something is very boring, we can call it dull. Here is one example: 

  • There’s never a dull moment when I am around you. 


Think about that friend of your who is very funny. Do you know that you can also call them hilarious

“This is hilarious!”


This is a word that English learners confuse quite often. Terrific means very great

  • The movie was terrific


You are at a museum looking at a painting that you think it’s very interesting. You can also call it fascinating.  


We use this word as a substitute for very easy

  • His movements were so graceful they seemed effortless. 


Exhausted is an adjective that means the same as very tired

  • She is exhausted. She has been working since 5 am. 


When you are very excited, you can say you are thrilled. Here is one example: 

  • I am thrilled to meet your mother tomorrow. 


very little cat, for instance, is a tiny cat. Tiny is a substitute for very little

“Look at his tiny fingers!”


If you buy a very cute dress, you can say that you bought an adorable dress. 


very clean house is a spotless house.   


Have you ever seen the movie “Mean Girls”? Those girls were very mean. We could also call them cruel girls.  

Learn more about how to deal with unfamiliar vocabulary in English.

Practice time: very + adjective

Now, let’s test your understanding with some exercises. Have fun!