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Absolute adjectives/help

Forum > English only || Bottom

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Absolute adjectives/help
Message from mohammad51 posted on 12-12-2018 at 18:59:52 (D | E | F)
Please help to get with this sentence I noticed in Cambridge dictionary:
This cup is very full so be careful with it.
It is often said that strong intensifiers are not used before absolute or extreme adjectives.
Many sites of grammar describe ( full) as an absolute adjective like( dead).
As we can't say "very dead but completely dead", I think it is also applicable to ( full).
What would you say ? I eagerly wait for your answers.

Edited by lucile83 on 12-12-2018 19:27

Re: Absolute adjectives/help from lucile83, posted on 13-12-2018 at 14:55:41 (D | E)
Yes, it is possible to use 'very' before an adjective. Link

Re: Absolute adjectives/help from mohammad51, posted on 14-12-2018 at 13:49:25 (D | E)
Yes, it is OK what is mentioned in Oxford. Dear teacher lucile83

very small very quickly Very few people know that. Thanks very much. ‘Do you like it?’ ‘Yeah, I do. Very much.’ ‘Is it what you expected?’ ‘Oh yes, very much so.’ ‘Are you busy?’ ‘Not very.’ The new building has been very much admired. I'm not very (= not at all) impressed. I'm very very grateful.
used to emphasize a superlative adjective or before own They wanted the very best quality. Be there by six at the very latest. At last he had his very own car (= belonging to him and to nobody else).
But the matter with ( full ) that full is absolute adj i.e. no size is more than ( full)
This glass is full of water. Can you imagine it a half-full ? Of course no.
Again, when the glass is ( full) it means to upper edge or margin it is ( full).
Then my question here:
Is there a degree of full ? Is it already used to say " fuller \ fullest" ? Is it practically used by native people?

Re: Absolute adjectives/help from gerondif, posted on 14-12-2018 at 15:21:17 (D | E)
When my wife took her teacher's degree in German, she had to explain the German superlative or comparative and when asked if all adjectives could be submitted to the superlative or comparative, she answered yes; Then , a rather cruel smile crept up on the inspector's lips and he asked: "What about white, or black, or dead" ?

Now I see what you mean, you can be a little happy, very happy but can you be a little full (yes, if it means drunk ) or completely full or very full ? Very full sounds strange but people often use full for filled.
My car-tank can be empty, half-full, full, full to the brim, filled to the brim, almost overflowing, so then "very full", too full, meaning filled too much, too close to overflowing point.

This cup is very full so be careful with it.
The sentence means that it has been filled too much for it to be easy to lift without spilling.

Sometimes when I come back from a dive, I can say that my toes are deader than usual, number than usual, they are very "dead" for a good twenty minutes before they come back to life !

Coluche, a French comic actor, had a sketch about an advert for some soap-powder that "washed whiter than white" and he would say: "I can understand what less white than white means, it is probably light grey (or gray,according to the country) but whiter than white ?? What is it ? Transparent??"

Re: Absolute adjectives/help from mohammad51, posted on 15-12-2018 at 10:30:26 (D | E)
Thank you ever gerondif as well as many thanks to lucile83.
You made it clear gerondif
In Arabic we usually use degrees for black and white but not for ( dead)
For example we use the same English sentence I brought here.

This cup is very full so be careful with it.

Here, I see, If not the phrase ( be careful ) , the intensifier ( very ) is not necessary.
Yes, in Arabic we say this colour is more ( white ) than that one.
literal :
This dress colour is ( while ).
That one is more ( whiter ) ... Arabic translation to English.
The problem with ( English ) is that some grammar rules depend on the context.
Students do not understand this and agree only to what they read in books or authors admit:
" Absolute and extreme adjectives can't be modified by strong adverbs such as, very \ extremely.
Of course that is right, for example , " awful, boiling , freezing , huge etc...
Therefore, we need to use weak intensifiers before the above mentioned adjectives.
very awful = wrong , absolutely awful , really awful OK and this is applicable to the rest.

Re: Absolute adjectives/help from gerondif, posted on 15-12-2018 at 11:17:16 (D | E)
Nowadays "he washes whiter than white" is used as a joke to describe people who "launder" money ! We say in French "blanchir de l'argent sale", to launder dirty money, to make dirty money white again, clean again.

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