(extremely / exceedingly / excessively / inordinately)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by A-friend, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. A-friend

    A-friend Senior Member

    Persian (Farsi)
    I was wondering if you could help me to fill in the following blank with the most appropriate choice:
    Example: John! I’m sure that you know I had to make a call to you; anyway I’m…………………sorry to have troubled you by calling you late.
    a) extremely
    b) exceedingly
    c) excessively
    d) inordinately
    [I have written this example myself]
    [I think the only certain choice is “a”; but I doubt about “b” whether it can be used interchangeably instead of “a” or not? I guess “b” is a little formal or maybe even “old-fashioned” in comparison with “a”;
    In my view, “c” and “d” an absolutely different group which each one of them have some overlaps with “a”; but in dictionaries, I am not able to discover them]
    [Bringing up this question, I wish to know the subtle nuances of these words in usage]
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I agree that "extremely" seems to be the most appropriate adverb in your list, A-friend. "Exceedingly" looks somewhat exaggerated and insincere to me. The last two, excessively and inordinately, really mean something like "too much". They don't make any sense in your sentence.
  3. A-friend

    A-friend Senior Member

    Persian (Farsi)
    Thanks Owlman
    But I need to make sure whether there is such a possibility in English too or not?
    In Persian (as a sign of politeness and deeper emotions towards someone) we can use some words which can convey some concepts as the latter two words (excessively / inordinately)! For instance:
    - Mr. X; I am (excessively / inordinately) thankful for your kindness! (In this manner we tend to imply that "we are thankful as much as possible for Mr. X's kindness"; I hope now you realized the reason of putting these two words into one separated group. Could you please tell me whether in this meaning you use these two words or not! If you found out the words in my question, I would appreciate it if you could cite it here.
  4. dadane Senior Member

    New Zealand
    English (London/Essex)
    Excessively/inordinately do not sound natural in English in this context - you are basically saying your level of sorrow is actually inappropriate for the situation and in doing so you are making a negative statement.

    Edit. 'Exceedingly sorry' is not uncommon, but I would only use it sarcastically or for comedic reasons.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013

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