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Many adverbs are gradable; that is, they can be intensified. To do this, use intensifying adverbs such as very, extremely, or highly. For example:
- The man drove very badly.
These intensifiers are not gradable however. As a rule, more than one intensifier should not be used. Do not say, “The man drove extremely very badly . ” In this case, say, “The man drove very badly,” or “The man drove extremely badly.”
Common Pitfall: Unnecessary Adverbs
Avoid using two or more adverbs at once to show a greater degree of an idea or concept.
- Incorrect: The young lady walked down the runway extremely very poorly.
- Correct: The young lady walked down the runway very poorly.
- Correct: The young lady walked down the runway extremely poorly.
Also, redundant words or phrases, such as repeat again or return back, are poor examples of the proper use of grammar.