Certain degree adverbs and certain verbs

boggiee

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello,

- Certain degree adverbs generally go together with certain verbs. For example, we can say I fully understand, but not I fully like; I rather like, but not I rather understand; I firmly believe, but not I firmly think.

This passage is from Michael Swan's Practical English Usage, p.146.

I cannot understand what he tries to say. What are certain degree adverbs and certain verbs? Why can't we say I fully like or I firmly think? Could you please tell me?

Thanks.
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Why can't we say I fully like or I firmly think? Could you please tell me?
    It's because those particular combinations are not idiomatic. They sound odd and a native speaker wouldn't naturally use them.

    I'm afraid English is like that (as are most languages): there's no real reason why certain combinations don't work or sound stilted: they just do.
     
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    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Why can't we say I fully like or I firmly think?
    Because they are not the normal collocations. If you say these, the listener will ask himself: why didn't the speaker use the standard expression? Does the speaker intend to imply something subtly different from the usual I really like? What might the subtle difference be? And while the listener is thinking these thoughts, he will not be listening to your next sentence.
     
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