Modifiers and Intensifiers for Reading Skills

Modifiers and intensifiers are important in English and you need to have a good grasp of them to read, write, speak, or listen well. But how can we learn them and what is their importance for the IELTS Reading Exam?

Modifiers and intensifiers are often used with adjectives to give a slight change in meaning. This can, for example, make the statement more precise or give the author’s opinion. In the IELTS Reading Exam, this is very important because you have various questions requiring you to gain an accurate understanding of the author’s meaning or opinion.

How to Learn

Can any modifier or intensifier go with any adjective?

Not really.

In order to learn them, while reading it is a good idea to pay attention and underline any relevant examples that you find. Then you can note these in a notebook and learn “chunks” instead of individual words. This will help you learn more useful language.

Here’s an example:

Installing solar panels on the roof of your house is relatively easy.

Here we have the modifier, “relatively” and the adjective, “easy.” They go together to form a different meaning from “very easy” or “not easy.” From the context, you could probably learn more about the precise meaning. Learning phrases this way is better than learning lists of modifiers and adjectives and attempting to piece them together yourself.

Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural China, and loves to travel. He has worked as an IELTS tutor since 2010, has completed both TEFL and CELTA courses, and has a certificate from Cambridge for Teaching Writing. In 2018, he wrote the popular IELTS handbook, Grammar for IELTS Writing. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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