Is Very an Adjective or an Adverb?

Very is an intriguing word in the English language, as it possesses the unique ability to function as both an adjective and an adverb. It’s dual nature allows it to embellish the meaning of nouns, emphasizes the qualities of verbs, and intensify adjectives and adverbs. This linguistic versatility grants very the power to modify and enhance language, lending an added depth and impact to one's expressions. By understanding the nuanced usage and various contexts in which very can be applied, one can effectively navigate the intricacies of English grammar and communicate with greater precision. So, is very an adjective or an adverb? Let's delve into the intricacies and unravel the mysteries of this extraordinary word.

Is Very an Adjective in Very Good?

In the sentence “very good,” the word “very” is acting as an adverb because it’s describing the adjective “good.”. An adjective is a word that describes or modifies a noun or pronoun. It provides more information about the noun or pronoun, such as it’s size, color, quality, or condition. In this case, the adjective “good” describes the quality or condition of something. It emphasizes that the noun or pronoun being described is exceptionally good.

Adverbs, on the other hand, modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. They provide information about the manner, time, place, degree, or frequency of an action or state described by a verb or adjective. It answers the question of how good or to what extent the noun or pronoun is good.

It’s important to note that “very” isn’t always used as an adverb. It can also function as an adjective, pronoun, or conjunction in different contexts. It’s intensifying and describing the degree of goodness being expressed.

How to Use “Very” Effectively in Writing and Speaking

When it comes to using the word “very” effectively in writing and speaking, it’s important to remember that “very” is an adverb. Adverbs are used to modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.

To use “very” effectively, it’s essential to pair it with strong and descriptive adjectives. By adding “very” before an adjective, you intensify it’s meaning, making your writing or speech more impactful.

However, relying too heavily on “very” can make your writing or speech repetitive. Instead, try using more precise adjectives or adverbs to convey your message more effectively. For example, instead of saying “very big,” you can say “enormous” or “gigantic.”

In conclusion, while “very” can be a useful adverb to intensify your language, it’s essential to use it sparingly and consider utilizing more specific words when possible.

In addition to it’s common use as an intensifier, ‘very’ can also function as a degree adverb, modifying adjectives, adverbs, or particular words like ‘same’ and ‘own’. This versatile term plays an important role in expressing the degree or extent of a particular quality or characteristic.

What Grammar Term Is Very?

What grammar term is very? Since very is an adverb here, it mainly comes before adjectives, adverbs, or specific words like same, own, etc. This means that very is used to intensify or modify these words. For example, in the sentence “The dog is very cute”, very is modifying the adjective cute and making it more intense.

As an adjective, very means “actual” or “real,” as in the sentence “I saw the very car that was in the accident.”. In this case, very is modifying the noun car and indicating that it’s the actual car involved in the accident.

It’s important to pay attention to the word being modified to determine whether very is functioning as an adverb or an adjective.

It’s role as an adjective is less common, but it’s still important to recognize it’s usage in certain contexts. So, next time you encounter very in a sentence, remember to investigate what it’s modifying to determine it’s grammatical role.

In addition to their role as adverbs, the words “very” and “extremely” serve as degree adverbs. Similarly, other degree adverbs like “almost,” “entirely,” and “totally” specify the extent or degree to which an adjective or another adverb applies. These adverbs play a crucial role in describing the intensity or magnitude of a particular quality.

What Part of Speech Is Very Before an Adjective?

When it comes to the question of whether “very” is an adjective or an adverb, we must delve into the realm of grammar. The modifying words “very” and “extremely” are actually classified as adverbs. Specifically, they fall under the category of degree adverbs. Degree adverbs serve the purpose of specifying the degree to which an adjective or another adverb applies. They add emphasis and intensity to the descriptive words they accompany.

Some examples of degree adverbs include “almost,” “barely,” “entirely,” “highly,” “quite,” “slightly,” “totally,” and “utterly.”. These adverbs function by amplifying or intensifying the meaning of an adjective or another adverb.

Similarly, when you say something like “I’m very tired,” the adverb “very” intensifies the level of tiredness being conveyed. The use of “very” in this context emphasizes that you aren’t just tired but extremely exhausted.

While some might argue that “very” is overused and lacks finesse, there’s no denying it’s effectiveness in conveying a strong emotional or descriptive impact. So the next time you want to express a heightened level of something, remember to reach for the trusty adverb “very.”

Alternatives to Using “Very” to Convey Intensity or Emphasis

  • Extremely
  • Utterly
  • Exceptionally
  • Unbelievably
  • Remarkably
  • Enormously
  • Highly
  • Tremendously
  • Intensely
  • Terribly

Yes, it’s grammatically correct to use the word “very” before a verb in certain cases. While most adverbs typically modify adjectives or other adverbs, “very” can be used to intensify the meaning of a verb.

Can I Use Very Before a Verb?

When discussing the function of “very” in the English language, it’s important to note that it’s primarily used as an adverb. However, this doesn’t mean that “very” can’t be used before a verb in certain contexts.

For example, one might say “I’m very excited to see you” or “She was very happy with her performance.”. In both of these sentences, “very” is used to intensify the feelings or emotions conveyed by the verbs “excited” and “happy.”

It’s generally more effective to choose stronger or more specific verbs that inherently convey the desired intensity or quality.

However, caution should be exercised when using “very” in this manner, as it’s often more effective to choose stronger or more specific verbs to convey the desired level of intensity or quality.

In some cases, using the intensifier “very” with strong adjectives can be considered redundant or nonsensical. Instead, it’s more common to use words like “absolutely” or “exceptionally” to convey the intensity of these adjectives. For example, we’d say “the film was absolutely awful” and “he was an exceptionally brilliant child.”

Can We Use Very With Strong Adjectives?

When it comes to using intensifiers like “very” with strong adjectives, the general rule is that we don’t typically use them together. For example, it would be incorrect to say something is “very enormous” or someone is “very brilliant.”. Instead, we tend to use stronger modifiers to convey the intensity of these adjectives.

Consider the phrase “the film was absolutely awful.”. Here, the word “absolutely” serves as an intensifier, emphasizing the strong negative quality of the adjective “awful.”. Similarly, we could describe someone as an “exceptionally brilliant child,” with “exceptionally” conveying the exceptional level of brilliance.

Using more specific and powerful modifiers allows us to paint a clearer picture and capture the true essence of the adjective being used.

While the concept holds true for most cases, it’s important to note that language isn’t always rigid, and there may be exceptions to this rule. By choosing more appropriate modifiers, we can enhance our descriptions and communicate more effectively.


This flexibility allows it to modify nouns, providing emphasis and intensity, while also modifying verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs, enhancing their meaning. It’s diverse usage showcases the complexity and nuance of the English language, as it offers a wide range of possibilities for effective communication. By understanding the dual nature of "very," we can navigate it’s usage with precision and clarity, ensuring our expressions are impactful and accurate.

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