Posts Tagged ‘too’

Special Uses of Some Adverbs

December 22nd, 2009 in English Grammar, English Learning, ESL, Improve English

Note the correct use of the following adverbs


Very means ‘to a great degree’. It is commonly used with adjectives or adverbs in the positive degree.

He was very nice.
She is very intelligent.
It is very small.
He did it very well.
He drove very carefully.

Very can be used with a present participle used as an adjective.

It was a very amusing story.
It was very amusing.
I find the proposal very interesting.

When very is used with well, it shows agreement or assent.

Very well doctor, I will give up smoking.
Oh, very well, I will come if you want.

When used with a superlative adjective very means ‘in the highest degree’.

This tea is of the very best quality.
She is the very best singer I know.

When very is used with own, it means ‘absolutely’.

Very is often used before much.

Thank you very much.


Much means to a great extent or degree. It is used with uncountable singular nouns.

I haven’t got much time.
She didn’t eat much breakfast.

Much can be used with an adjective or adverb in the comparative and superlative degree. It means more or less the same as very. But note that very is used with positive adjectives.


She is very pretty. (No comparison implied)
He is very tall. (No comparison implied)
She is much prettier than her sister.
He is much taller than his wife.

Much can be used before a past participle in the passive form.

I was much shocked to hear the news.


Too means ‘more than is required’. It has a negative meaning.

She is too fat.
He is too young to marry.
It is too late to start a new lesson.
The news is too good to be true.


Enough shows sufficiency. It has a positive meaning. Note that enough goes after the adjective or adverb it modifies.

He is rich enough to buy a car. (NOT He is enough rich to buy a car.)
She is old enough to be a grandmother. (NOT She is enough old to be a grandmother.)
I was foolish enough to trust her.

Note that enough is the opposite of too.

It is hot enough (= to the degree/extent required) to go swimming. (= We can go swimming.)
It is too hot (= more than required) to go swimming. (= We can’t go swimming.)

Yes and no

If the answer is ‘yes’, the following verb must be in the affirmative.

Is it any good? Yes, it is. (NOT Yes, it isn’t.)

If the answer is ‘no’, the following verb must be in the negative.

Is it very hot? No, it isn’t. (NOT No, it is.)