Questions tagged [gradability]

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Is using "complete" as a gradable adjective ok in some situations?

So in writing, I want to express various degrees of completion. Originally, I used "in a more complete implementation". A reviewer remarked that this was wrong, as complete is not gradable. ...
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Is "incredible" a gradable or non-gradable adjective?

Is incredible a gradable or non-gradable adjective? I noticed many books in Google state its comparative and superlative forms more incredible and most incredible, so according to this view = ...
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Have non-gradable adjectives ever come to be used as gradable?

Are there examples of non-gradable adjectives that, over time, have come to be used as gradable? For example, has a word commonly accepted as non-gradable (like binary in "It's a binary choice" [...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Can (or should) "prevalent" be gradable? [closed]

Well, that's all. Can it? Is it not illogical to say that something is "more prevalent"? Is "prevalent" not, by definition, superlative? Is it not like saying that something is "more best"?
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Comparative form of adjective "starving"

There is a way to say hungrier, but my question is whether there is any way to use the same form with starve. I searched and found nothing. I would like to know the comparative adjective of starving.
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Graded/ungraded adjectives and grading/non-grading adverbs

I saw in the Farlex Grammar Book an explanation of gradable adjectives and graded adverbs. It lists the following words as examples of each category: Gradable adjectives small cold hot difficult sad ...
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In the PP 'near here', why is 'near' the head?

In CGEL (p. 640), it is stated (without argument) that in the sentence [1] They live n̲e̲a̲r̲ ̲h̲e̲r̲e̲. we have the preposition phrase (PP) ...
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3 answers
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why is it grammatically incorrect to say "very incredible"?

I have been told that it is wrong to say "very incredible " and "very fantastic". Could you tell me why?
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What is wrong with the expression 'most perfect', and the adjective-forms 'rounder' and 'squarer'?

Here is an excerpt from the textbook High School English Grammar & Composition, by Wren & Martin (2005 edition by S. Chand, New Delhi): Certain adjectives do not really admit of comparison ...
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6 answers
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Can something be more unique than something else? Can something be very unique? [duplicate]

Family debate - one says that uniqueness is relative, others say something either is or is not unique. Does uniqueness mean that there is only one of a certain thing/person, so that it would mean more ...
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Can a person be "overly literal"

It's common to say someone is being overly literal if their interpretation of a phrase is too strictly literal either intentionally (nitpickers) or unintentionally (people learning another language). ...
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Can "validity" be "improved" or "increased"?

There are a number of webpages where one can read about "improving the validity" of a scientific process or measurement. Indeed, the entire Wikipedia page for Validity in statistics (which is the ...
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4 answers
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Is using "more correct" a grammatical faux pas?

I caught myself saying "to be more correct", is this strictly possible given that something is usually correct or incorrect. If this is a grammatical faux pas, what is it called?
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16 votes
7 answers
21k views

How can something be "fuller" or the "fullest"?

Consider the definition for full (Source): full [foo l] adjective, fuller, fullest. completely filled; containing all that can be held; filled to utmost capacity: a full cup. complete; entire; ...
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2 answers
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Is the term "very average" correct?

In general does the phrase "[adverb] average" follow the rules of proper English? For example I asked of the water level of a forest and someone replied that it was "very average for this time of year"...
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"How perfect is that?" [duplicate]

Is this proper usage ? seems to me "perfect" is like "best" (it can't be more or less "perfect or "best").
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16 votes
6 answers
5k views

Using "so" and "very" for ungradable adjectives

We generally use modifiers such as "so" and "very" for gradable/normal adjectives (water can be quite/so/very HOT, but not quite/so/very BOILING (an ungradable/extreme adjective). Yet would you say ...
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Is "almost exactly" correct English?

Is the collocation "almost exactly" grammatical, when one is trying to express that something is almost at the edge of being exact? E.g.: ...and it's almost exactly like...
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1 answer
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Is "responsible" a gradable or a non-gradable adjective?

Is responsible a gradable adjective that can be modified with too? E.g., "He is too responsible".
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4 answers
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Is "emptiest" a logically correct term?

There are some adjectives that are logical binaries, e.g. empty — either the noun is empty or it isn't. Can we apply a superlative degree to such adjectives? E.g. This is the emptiest these ...
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7 votes
4 answers
19k views

Is it correct to use the comparative adjective "blacker?"

You can find bluer, redder, greener, and whiter in the dictionary, but not blacker. This seems mystifying. In his "El Paso" song, Marty Robbins sang, "Blacker than night were the eyes of ...
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1 vote
3 answers
570 views

Can "very" be combined with "non-"?

Absolute pathnames should be avoided in #include directives because they make the program very nonportable. Somehow, the quote above sounds weird. Can we use "very" with an adjective that starts ...
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3 answers
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Is "very crucial" redundant?

This came up as a multiple-choice question in an exam. Is using "very crucial" redundant?. . . or tautology?
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"Innocuous enough"?

Is the phrase "innocuous enough" valid? Or is the word innocuous a 'binary' word, in the sense that something is either innocuous, or is somewhat harmful/offensive? Example usage: Should we ...
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28 votes
6 answers
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Are the rules regarding absolute adjectives too absolute?

A common grammar lesson that was taught to me in the US and that I've had to teach abroad in EFL classrooms is that we're not to use adverbs of emphasis with absolute modifiers, just as we're not ...
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