Posted by: lyonenglishnetwork | March 11, 2014

Extreme adjectives

I’m working with an online company: linguahouse.com

One of the worksheets they provided is to do with extreme adjectives. This is fantastic for natural vocabulary development.

An example:

– I am tired

Most of my students at the current point in time can master this.

but it adds to their vocabulary set to also know: I am exhausted (je suis épuisé(e)) and I am knackered* (je suis crevé(e))*

Other examples:

– crowded ==> packed

– good ==> fantastic, wonderful, amazing

– bad ==> terrible, awful

– hot ==> boiling

– cold ==> freezing

However, it is interesting to go a bit further than this. A student also needs to be able to use these words in their everday speech.

That means they really need to know how to use these words in a convincing way (understanding the word is one thing, being able to use the word in their active vocabulary is another).

In my opinion, there’s probably nothing wrong with using “knackered” as a foreigner in a business context, but if they end up pronouncing it “I’m Ke – Nackered” or ” “Ke-Nacker-ed”, something went wrong. They may as well have stuck to using I am very tired. People who come back from spending 5 years in the U.K. often come back with a correct use of the word – the question is: how to get students who have not spent time in the U.K. to be as convincing…


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