Degree modifiers are words like too, very and enough. These are used before gradable adjectives and adverbs.
What are gradable adjectives and adverbs?
Some adjectives and adverbs refer to qualities which are gradable. For example, stories can be more or less interesting; jobs can be more or less difficult. Other adjectives and adverbs refer to qualities which aren’t gradable.
To add the idea of degree, we use certain modifiers like too, as, so, enough, very, rather, pretty, quite, fairly, a little, a bit etc.
- She is very beautiful.
- The water is too cold.
- You look rather unhappy.
- It is quite easy.
- She is fairly tall.
- You are so sweet.
A little and a bit are mostly used before adjectives and adverbs expressing negative ideas.
- You look a bit tired. (BUT NOT You look a bit happy.)
- He is a little careless.
A little and a bit are not used before an adjective with a noun.
- It was a rather weird experience. OR It was a bit weird. (NOT It was a bit weird experience.)
Enough follows its adjective.
- He is not tall enough to be a soldier. (NOT He is not enough tall to be a soldier.)
Most is sometimes used with the same meaning as very.
- That is most kind of you.