What is an Adverb of Degree? - Meaning & Examples

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  • 0:02 Adverbs of Degree
  • 0:28 Common Types
  • 1:23 Modifying Parts of Speech
  • 2:40 Using 'Too' & 'Enough'
  • 3:53 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Hance

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school special education, and has a master's degree in reading education.

In this lesson, you'll learn about a particular type of adverb: adverbs of degree. Adverbs of degree modify other parts of speech by telling to what level or extent.

Adverbs of Degree

An adverb of degree is a word that modifies an adjective, a verb, or another adverb that tells to what level or extent. They are just one type of adverb. While you may have learned that many adverbs end in the letters '-ly,' that is not always the case for adverbs of degree. Let's look at some examples and learn about the meaning and usage of these words.

Common Types

Chances are you've probably told someone that you've had 'too much to eat', or that a serving was 'just enough'. At the time, you may not have realized that you were using adverbs of degree to explain yourself. An adverb of degree usually comes before the word or words that it modifies. Here are some examples of the most common adverbs of degree.

  • Extremely (The soup was extremely hot.)
  • Quite (He wasn't quite ready to walk out the door.)
  • Just (The train had just left the station.)
  • Almost (My piggy bank is almost empty.)
  • Very (The doctor was speaking very quickly.)
  • Too (It is too early to go to bed!)
  • Enough (Have you gotten enough to eat?)

Adverbs of degree may be more difficult to identify in a sentence because they don't often have the '-ly' ending that many adverbs have.

Modifying Parts of Speech

As we said earlier, adverbs of degree can modify three different parts of speech: adjectives, verbs, or other adverbs. Adjectives describe or tell more about nouns. Verbs are action words or words used to connect a subject to another part of a sentence, such as is, are, were. Adverbs of degree can work in different ways, depending on which part of speech they modify.

Here are a couple of examples of an adverb of degree modifying an adjective:

  • 'She is a very beautiful woman.' In this sentence, 'very' tells us how beautiful the woman is.
  • 'This test is too difficult. ' Here, 'too' tells us how difficult the test is.

In these next two sentences, the adverb of degree is modifying a verb:

  • 'The show has just ended.' The word 'just' in this sentence modifies ended.
  • 'She has almost completed the painting.' In this sentence, 'almost' modifies completed.

Finally, here are a couple of sentences where the adverb of degree is modifying another adverb:

  • 'He is running very fast!' In this sentence, 'very' modifies fast.
  • 'He is eating too slowly.' Here, 'too' modifies slowly.

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