Intensifiers - add emphasis...

Intensifiers hold a unique place in the English language. They are the little words that play a BIG role.

Used in combination with other words, they add emphasis to ordinary sentences.

Intensifiers seem to be favorite items tested on the Michigan Proficiency Exams… so you (here I go again) need to know them!

By learning what follows you’ll be ready to encounter these items on the exam.

Noticing how they are used and what precedes and/or follows them will help your retention. Remember, these structures remain the same.

For instance, “by far” as used in the example below, is followed by the superlative of the adjective “tall.”

Other instances will find these items followed by superlatives of other adjectives.

EXAMPLES

She is by far the tallest woman in the class.

By far the largest elephant I’ve seen.

Far and away the largest elephant I’ve seen.

Far better than I imagined.

Each and every one of us needs to attend the meeting.

Every single one of us needs to attend the meeting.

It’s the one and only answer to the problem.

There are hardly any answers to the problem.

There are almost no answers to the problem.

There are few such answers.

Such answers are few and far between.

There is no reason whatsoever for her to leave.

She left without any reason whatsoever.

Quite a few students passed their preliminary exam.

A good many students passed their preliminary exam.

Many a student passed their preliminary exam.

Far / way too many people smoke in this restaurant.

There’s much / far too much smoke in this restaurant.

Something must be done once and for all.

Just this once something must be done.

Every once in a while we go to the theater.

We go to the theaterevery now and again / then.

All too often I miss the bus in the morning.

More often than not I miss the bus in the morning.

How tall he is!

What a tall man he is!

I’ve never ever seen a taller man!

I’ve yet to meet a taller man!

He’s a very / a most / quite a tall man!

It’s not at all out of my way.

It’s not in the least out of my way.

It’s not the least of our worries.

I’m not interestedin the least.

This will take a week at the very least.



As you see, intensifiers are indeed little words that play a big role in the English language. What’s more, it’s essential to know and recognize them on the test because you will be tested on intensifiers.


The good news is that the practice tests available from this site have plenty of practice on these much tested items!

For a complete list of intensifiers click on the preceding link.

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