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ESL Easy Quiz

Very Good Indeed - Intensifiers

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about “Very Good Indeed” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Intensifiers quiz”! If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

Quite soon your English will be 'very good indeed', we are sure! But one useful way you can improve your conversation, is to know how and when to use 'intensifiers' - words and phrases like 'really good' and 'rather fun'. If you can develop your 'ear' for how English speakers use such intensifiers, so much the better!

  1. Choose the word (or words) that fit/s most naturally in the gap.
    'The London traffic is ... ... improved since the last time I came here.'
    This one suggests a much more significant difference.
  2. Which is the strongest way of saying ... ?
    'This machine is ... ... useless!'
    Answer 2 is strongest; all the others are mild expressions. Either the machine is 100% useless, or it isn't!
    Beware of 'quite', which in English ~ rather unhelpfully ~ has two dissimilar meanings:
    'The handle on this machine is quite worn' = You can see that it has had 'quite a lot' of wear and use, but it's not totally worn out yet.
    'I am quite exhausted after working with the machine all morning' = I am totally tired, and don't feel I have the energy left to do any more later.
  3. Choose the word (or words) that fit/s most naturally in the gap.
    We watched the Red Arrows yesterday evening; they were ... ... impressive.
    (* The Red Arrows are the aerobatic display team of the Royal Air Force. Does your country have a national organisation like this?)
    This may seem odd to you, but 'pretty' is probably the strongest and neatest word here. It does not only mean 'fairly beautiful' (like a sunset, or some scenery, or a child that you can see will become a very good-looking adult in a few years' time); English says 'pretty good' when something is in fact very good, or 'pretty quickly' to mean about as fast as possible.
    Clearly, you wouldn't use it to say 'The house is pretty ugly but the park is pretty beautiful' ... !
  4. Choose the word (or words) that fit/s most naturally in the gap.
    'Are you hungry again, yet?'
    'You bet I am; in fact, I'm ... ...'
    This is about as firm a way of saying it, as you could politely use. If you put it any more strongly, you might embarrass someone (yourself, by expressing your hunger in a bit too 'medical' a way; or your hosts / friends, by suggesting they have not been looking after you properly)!
  5. Choose the word (or words) that fit/s most naturally in the gap.
    'Some people think the British are ... ... barbaric to allow any form of hunting in the countryside.'
    This is the clearest.
    'Quite' and 'pretty' are each ambiguous (do they mean 'fairly', or ' completely'?), so they are better avoided here.
  6. Choose the word (or words) that fit/s most naturally in the gap.
    'I'm afraid there's something in this sandwich that smells ... ... strange.'
    If you think you are being offered food that has something wrong with it (i.e. it's not just unfamiliar, but you think one of the ingredients is 'bad' or 'on the turn', as we say: meat or cheese, perhaps ... ), it's best not to say anything too alarming at first. This could be a good situation for a bit of English understatement!
  7. Choose the word (or words) that fit/s most naturally in the gap.
    'We went to the circus, and most of what we saw was ... ... '
    'Completely' = 100% ; you can't find a more intense expression than that!
  8. Choose the word (or words) that fit/s most naturally in the gap.
    'We went to the zoo yesterday ~ and, to my surprise, I enjoyed it. In fact, it was ... ... fun.'
    This is an easy, standard phrase. If it's true, and you use it to thank British people for new experiences and opportunities that they share with you, they will be happy too ~ and consider you a good guest and friend!
  9. Choose the word (or words) that fit/s most naturally in the gap.
    'The landscape in this part of the country is breathtakingly ... ...'
    This is the strongest of all; 'pretty', somehow, does not sound strong enough to be 'breathtaking'.
  10. Choose the word (or words) that fit/s most naturally in the gap.
    'The news about that train accident yesterday was ... ... appalling.'
    Either it really did appal you (i.e. you felt sad and uncomfortable when you heard the news; perhaps you 'felt it inside' in an almost physical way) ... or it didn't. You can't just be 'a bit appalled' (Answers 2 - 4).
    'Truly' is a useful, easy word ... but beware of a temptation to overuse it.

Author: Ian Miles

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