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As an exercise, I am going thorough I paper I wrote and trying to replace all (or most) adjectives in the form of "very + adjective" with a word. I feel that if done good this would greatly improve my writing.

For example "very small " -> "negligible" . Of course the correct substitution depends on the context.

My point is, where can I find a list of appropriate words?

Searching for "synonimous small" for example does not work, because I want the "very" to be emphasized.

Thank you!

  • You can try various thesaurus dictionaries on the internet like this one. But none of them will always give you satisfactory/right words that you are looking for as the link shows. It doesn't list negligible as a synonym for very small. In addition, your question looks off-topic as it requests for resources. I would advise you to take the tour and visit our help center to see how it works here. – user140086 Dec 9 '15 at 13:55
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    @Rathony As far as I can see in the tour there is nothing against reference requests :-) – Ant Dec 9 '15 at 14:33
  • Some might disagree with you. Anyway, this community is for English Language and Usage. Your question doesn't belong to the followings, either. Word choice and usage Grammar Etymology (history of words’ development) Dialect differences Pronunciation (phonetics and phonology, dialectology) Spelling and punctuation – user140086 Dec 9 '15 at 14:43
  • @Rathony and I'm asking about how to use english effectively. I could very well ask a quesiton for every adjective, like "what is a list of words that can substitute very small in this context"? Would that be acceptable? If yes, why not this question? – Ant Dec 9 '15 at 14:45
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    That question is off-topic, too. "How to use English effectively" will generate only primarily opinion-based answers or to broad to be answered. What is a list of words that can substitute very small in this context will be considered as off-topic because the answer to the question is readily available on the internet. You will learn more as time goes by. – user140086 Dec 9 '15 at 14:49
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You want to use a thesaurus, and you've made an erroneous assumption in the body of your question:

For example "very small" → "negligible". Of course the correct substitution depends on the context.

My point is, where can I find a list of appropriate words?

Searching for "synonimous [sic] small" for example does not work, because I want the "very" to be emphasized.

Actually, looking at a thesaurus will work, because many synonyms listed for "bland" words will often emphasize the "very" part.

For example Collins has a thesaurus; looking under small shows quite a few words that connote "very small," including the one you list:

little, minute, tiny, slight, mini, miniature, minuscule, diminutive, petite, teeny, puny

unimportant, minor, trivial, insignificant, little, lesser, petty, trifling, negligible

The same goes for the synonyms of big; many of these mean "very big" – either in size, or in importance:

large, great, huge, giant, massive, vast, enormous, considerable, substantial, extensive, immense, spacious, gigantic, monumental, mammoth, bulky, burly, colossal

important, serious, significant, grave, urgent, paramount

and most of the synonyms for cold seem to mean "very cold":

chilly, biting, freezing, bitter, raw, harsh, bleak, arctic, icy, frosty, wintry, frigid

So, open up that thesaurus! I'm sure you'll find that very big book to be very helpful enormous tome to be beneficial.

  • ahahah nice joke at the end :P Alright I'll look in a more "serious" thesaurus than the ones I have tried online :-) Thanks ;) – Ant Dec 9 '15 at 22:15
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This image has many examples of replacing very+adjective with just an adjective (if that is what you are asking for.) If you are just looking for words meaning "very small", you can try miniscule, diminutive or minute, among many others. Very+adjective Source

  • thanks! These are very common and will certainly be useful :D – Ant Dec 9 '15 at 22:15

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