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I've seen the word Extremely used to modify adjectives. Would it also be correct to use it to modify verbs? For example, "extremely appreciate", or "extremely enjoy".

Thank you.

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just for the record: BNC and COCA have zero instances of "extremely appreciate". It doesn't mean this phrase is ungrammatical, but you can see the general trend anyway. –  Alex B. Jun 29 '12 at 20:07
    
Sadly, the context does not suit the use of this adverb in extremely appreciate -- that makes it sound insincere and pompous. –  Kris Oct 13 '12 at 6:11
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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Extremely is an adverb. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and various types of phrases. So according to this rule, you could say.

I appreciated your hospitality extremely.

This is still awkward. I'd say,

I appreciated your hospitality very much.

Or

I very much appreciated your hospitality.

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If you really want to express the extreme, @jam's version is good, and so is "Your hospitality is extremely appreciated." or "I'd like to express my extreme appreciation for your hospitality!" There we've switched from adverb/verb to adjective/noun. –  TecBrat Jun 29 '12 at 19:51
    
It is not true that all adverbs can modify all adjectives or all verbs. For example, even though very is an adverb, you cannot say "I very appreciated your hospitality". You have to say "I very much appreciated your hospitality". I wouldn't use "extremely" with "appreciate", either. –  Peter Shor May 22 at 12:52
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For me no, and it's not really grammatical so much as usage - you're modifying a modifier (the best greatest, the most awesome, the extreme edge).

What is the word there for other than as hyperbole? Good for comedic effect or parody perhaps, but not in simple daily discourse.

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The common phrase is "greatly appreciate".

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No, this isn't correct, as JAM explains in his answer:

Extremely is an adverb. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives and various types of phrases.

I'd add though that this isn't the be-all and end-all; appreciate is a verb, so why doesn't 'appreciate' take the 'extremely' adverb? I think it's because extremely is a comparator of degrees; something can be more extreme than something else, ad infinitum. Extremely tall mountain? There can be one more extreme in it's height. Appreciation is blurrier; it's degrees are subjective, so when you compare two 'degrees' of appreciation there's no clear 'winner'. "Is Jeff really more appreciative of my help in programming than Mike?"

What you need is an absolute adverb, one that indicates or at least implies some form of completeness:

Jeff fully appreciated the debugging I did. I could tell from the tears of joy that ran down his face when he saw it compile.

In this case, his appreciation was 'complete', though it could have been 'full' as well; once one thing is complete or full, it can't be bested in this attribute. In this case, there is no more appreciating Jeff could do, but someone could be more appreciative still (perhaps collapse in stupefaction?)

Regardless, my preferred sentence below should be a suitable example of what I've discussed:

Jeff was extremely appreciative of my help in debugging, as a result Mike could fully appreciate the program

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