Unit 5.2

Non-Gradable Adjectives


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Introduction

Adjectives are determiners that can be placed in two different positions within a sentence to modify or describe a person or a thing.

Non-gradable adjectives cannot vary in intensity or grade.

Form

Non-gradable adjectives are adejctives that cannot vary in intensity or grade.

The most commonly used non-gradable adjectives are: absolute, dead, entire, exhausted, fantastic, freezing, impossible, pregnant…

Example

  • Absolute silence can drive you crazy.
  • Her grandfather is dead.
  • He travelled around the entire world in his life.
  • After 10 hours of work, he was exhausted.
  • What a freezing day!
  • It is impossible that we will lose this game.
  • My dream was just fantastic!
  • Julia is pregnant.

Use

We use non-gradable adjectives as normal adjectives, but we cannot use them in comparative or superlative forms.

Summary

Non-gradable adjectives are adjectives that cannot vary in intensity or grade and cannot be used in the comparative and superlative forms.

The most commonly used non-gradable adjectives are: absolute, dead, entire, exhausted, fantastic, freezing, impossible, pregnant…

For example:
“It’s freezing cold outside.” = Freezing already means very cold, so it cannot vary in intensity or grade (by adding very, for example).

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

Exercises

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