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Learn The Power play of Intensifiers and Downtowners

“Improve Expressiveness: Learn The Power play of Intensifiers and Downtowners in English Language”

Have you ever heard the phrases “extremely important” and “pretty good” in a classroom or during a business meeting? While these words appear to be common, they are excellent examples of two distinct adverbs that can be employed to change the impact of a statement in English.

Such adverbs are known as intensifiers or downtowners. These degree adverbs are critical in establishing depth and richness of our phrases. In this article, we’ll investigate the dynamic interaction of these words that enrich communication, including their significance and how to utilize such adverbs effectively to raise your expressions.  

Learn The Powerplay of Intensifiers and Downtowners

Why Downtowners and Intensifiers Matter?

In order to improve command on the English language, it is imperative that you understand how downtowners and intensifiers function. These adverbs can raise the level of overall complexity and give your words additional power and emotion. You can express yourself more accurately while also providing your statements depth by employing u intensifiers and downtowners. 

What are Adverbs?

Adverbs are words which are used to alter other words in English language including a verb, adjective, or another adverb, aside from a noun or a pronoun. Adverbs are widely utilized as a measure of anything, including time, a degree, a method, or a location.

What is An Intensifier?

An intensifier is a simple adverb that makes another word stronger or weaker, frequently the word immediately to its right. 

“Very,” “extremely,” and “incredibly” are some frequently used intensifiers. 

  • Sentences Examples:
  • Jhon is intelligent (this sentence does not use an intensifier).
  • Jhon is very intelligent (“very” serves as an intensifier).

We can divide intensifiers into two main categories; amplifiers and downtoners. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

  1. Amplifiers/Intensifiers:  

“An amplifier, also known as an intensifier, is a word that enhances the meaning of another phrase, word, or adjective.” As the name implies, amplifiers are used to strengthen other adverbs and adjectives.

For instance, you would like to say “He is hungry” but you would prefer to make it stronger. 

To emphasize his hunger, you can say, “He is extremely hungry.” 

Amplifiers are commonly used in American English in order to increase intensity, demonstrate precision, and communicate conviction.   “Really” and “very” are amplifiers that are frequently used to raise the intensity of a statement and are normally used to change the meaning of the adjective.

  • Sentences Examples:

Let’s take the word good for example, which is an adjective. Consider you watch a new movie and you would like to tell your friends “This is a good movie.”

The word “very” can be used to emphasize your point: 

“This is a very good movie.”

An amplifier can also be used to convey assurance and demonstrate precision.

“This is undoubtedly the best movie I’ve ever watched.”

“I watched the best movie of my life at 3 pm on May 6.” 

  1. Downtowners:

In contrast to an amplifier, a downtoner is a word that is used to weaken other words, adverbs or adjectives. 

Downtoners are normally used to tone down a statement. If you wish to weaken the sentence, for instance, you could say “He was a bit sleepy” rather than “he was sleepy.” 

Downtoners perform three common functions: expressing doubt, reducing intensity, and demonstrating imprecision.

  • Sentences Examples:

Consider the example: “He has worked hard this week.”

If you want to lessen the effect of your statement, you can say:

“He has worked pretty hard this week.”

You can also say: “He has probably worked hard this week” to indicate your skepticism or even to raise concerns.

Commonly used Downtoners
at allrather
justA bit
  • Example sentences:
  • It’s rather cold today.
  • He hardly finished the book. 
  • They barely reached the station. 

Understanding Levels of Intensifiers:

Remember, intensifiers are adverbs that strengthen your adjective. But depending upon the adverb you use, you can add a lot of power, a moderate power, or you can weaken the meaning of the adjective with a downtowner.  

  1. High level:

The high strength intensifiers add more power and are used for a stronger statement. 

Common High-Level Intensifiers
  • Example sentences:
  • He is absolutely right. 
  • He was so upset, I felt extremely sad for her.
  • It was incredibly generous of her to pay for my dress.
  1. Moderate Level:

Medium intensity intensifiers are utilized to add moderate strength to other phrases, words, or adjectives

Common Moderate-Level Intensifiers
  • Sentences Examples: 
  • “The water was quite hot.” It signifies that the water was only slightly warm. 
  •  Listening to music was pretty calming.

Choosing Intensifiers for Powerful Adjectives: 

Some intensifiers are especially useful when used with strong adjectives. These adjectives include very small, which means tiny, and very big, which means gigantic or massive.

Other examples include; 

  • brilliant: very clever
  • certain: very sure
  • splendid, ideal, perfect: very good
  • disgusting, terrible, dreadful, awful: very bad
  • delicious: very tasty

We avoid using terms like “very” with these powerful adjectives. It is impossible to characterize something as “very delicious” or “very brilliant.” Instead, we might use specific intensifiers to characterize something as “really delicious,” or “incredibly brilliant.”

Intensifiers used with strong adjectives
  • Sentences Examples:
  • Her performance was utterly mesmerizing.
  • His artwork is exceptionally brilliant.
  • His dress was absolutely stunning.
  • The lecture was completely confusing.
  • Her debate was really inspiring.

Intensifiers with Specific Adjectives: 

Certain intensifiers are better suited to specific adjectives based on their meaning.  For instance, to describe an unfortunate event, words like “seriously” and “dangerously” are used.

Similarly, “bitterly” works well with words like “cold, unhappy and disappointed,” yet “highly” is used with words like “successful and intelligent.” These adverbs provide clarity and finesse to your vocabulary, helping you to make subtle and correct remarks.

  • Example Sentences:
  • Unfortunately, her father is dangerously ill. 
  • Luckily, no student was seriously harmed.
  • His brother is a highly successful doctor.
  • America becomes bitterly cold in winters.

Final words:

It all comes down to how you practice in the end. When choosing words, keep in mind that an appropriate intensifier will spark your message, while a well-placed downtoner will provide depth.