Absolutely courteous?

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  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Of course, many of the examples you found on Googlebooks may be quotations from Fiona Scott-Barrett's own works; she's a very prolific lady.

    I don't know what a "strong" adjective is.
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    Of course, many of the examples you found on Googlebooks may be quotations from Fiona Scott-Barrett's own works; she's a very prolific lady.

    I don't know what a "strong" adjective is.
    Hi, Keith Bradford:

    I thought the film was really/very good (good is a normal adjective)
    I thought the film was really/absolutely fantastic (fantastic is a strong adjective)
     

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Yes, well I don't see it like that. I think it's possible to use 'absolutely' with any adjective, so long as you remember what 'absolutely' means - it means more than just 'very', it means 'without comparison'.

    For example, "A pickpocket is relatively good compared with a murderer; only God is absolutely good".
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    Yes, well I don't see it like that. I think it's possible to use 'absolutely' with any adjective, so long as you remember what 'absolutely' means - it means more than just 'very', it means 'without comparison'.

    For example, "A pickpocket is relatively good compared with a murderer; only God is absolutely good".
    It also says that "somewhat", too, does not sit well with "courteous". The book says the reason for that is that "somewhat" is used with negatives adjectives, adjectives that convey negative ideas, as in a somewhat disadvantageous position.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    No, that is wrong. "Somewhat" is to be interpreted as a grudging concession. Somewhat adjective = adjective to a limited degree/extent. You will see that somewhat does have a slight negative nuance because of this, but this does not prevent 'somewhat' from being used to qualify positive, neutral, and negative adjectives:

    "Their father now earned more money and this had led to somewhat happier times."<- NB Somewhat works very well with all comparatives.
    "The medicine had made him feel somewhat better." <- NB Somewhat works very well with all comparatives.
    "David was somewhat close to the fire and John thought he could see smoke rising from David's trousers." <- neutral adjective.
    "The official had been somewhat courteous but had given the impression that he was not interested in their problem."
     

    High on grammar

    Senior Member
    Farsi
    No, that is wrong. "Somewhat" is to be interpreted as a grudging concession. Somewhat adjective = adjective to a limited degree/extent. You will see that somewhat does have a slight negative nuance because of this, but this does not prevent 'somewhat' from being used to qualify positive, neutral, and negative adjectives:

    "Their father now earned more money and this had led to somewhat happier times."<- NB Somewhat works very well with all comparatives.
    "The medicine had made him feel somewhat better." <- NB Somewhat works very well with all comparatives.
    "David was somewhat close to the fire and John thought he could see smoke rising from David's trousers." <- neutral adjective.
    "The official had been somewhat courteous but had given the impression that he was not interested in their problem."
    Thank you all.
     
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