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hi everyone,I have a serious problem

I can't distinguish between ungradable and gradable adjectives,for example:'complicated' is gradable but 'amazed' is ungradable. how can i know which adjective is ungradable or gradable?most of the books have the same definition: gradable adjectives an be used to say that a thing or a person has more or less of a particular quality,while ungradable adjectives themselves imply 'to a large degree',but it isn't clear to me.i'm still confused.

thanks in advanced
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Anonymoushi everyone,I have a serious problem

I can't distinguish between ungradable and gradable adjectives,for example:'complicated' is gradable but 'amazed' is ungradable. how can i know which adjective is ungradable or gradable?most of the books have the same definition: gradable adjectives an be used to say that a thing or a person has more or less of a particular quality,while ungradable adjectives themselves imply 'to a large degree',but it isn't clear to me.i'm still confused.

thanks in advanced

Once can measure how complicated something is (by how many people understand it); one cannot measurehow amazed a person might be. I'm speaking in generalities, of course. By the way, I prefer the word 'measurable' to 'gradable' - the latter reminds me too much of the grades I put on papers for 30 years Emotion: wink .
Hello

Is it true "amazed" is a non-gradable adjective? I found three Project Gutenberg pages where "very amazed" is used.



  • He got into the boat with them; and the wind ceased, and they were very amazed among themselves and marveled. [The World English Bible; Mark 6:51]



  • He said to me in a distracted whisper: "Look at that, sir, look." "Take them back aft at once yourself," I said, very amazed, too. [Note on Life and Letters by Joseph Conrad]



  • His first impulse was to exclaim in a very amazed voice, "Why, I've six thousand odd pounds to my credit, surely" [What's Bred in the Bone by Grant Allen]
paco
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how about 'disappointed'? it is a gradable adjective(??) .and how can you learn it?I wonder
Hello Green

'Disappointed' is gradable. I understand almost all of the emotion-state adjectives are gradable; 'amused', 'bored', 'confused', 'delighted', 'excited', 'frightened', 'interested', 'perplexed', 'satisfied', 'terrified', 'worried', etc.. We can put 'very' and 'a little' before them. We can apply to them a comparative construct like 'You are more [...] than I (am)'.

Non-gradable adjectives are those like 'married', 'retired', 'dead', 'wooden', 'musical', 'medical', 'earthen', 'absolute', 'supreme', etc.. We cannot say either 'I am very married' or 'I am more married'.
paco
hello paco2004:)

according to the book:advanced grammar in use ,not all of the emotion-state are gradable,for ex: delighted,terrible,wonderful,useless,amazed.awful ,.. are non-gradable adjectives(that's why i don't understand it clearly)

can you explain to me more about it

thanks in advanced.
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Interesting. All those adjectives –
...delighted,terrible,wonderful,useless,amazed.awful...
suit a 'more than' context:

1. You are more delighted than I am.

– I don't like the gift as much as you do, for instance.

2. This hammer without a head is more useless than that hammer without a handle.

– At least you can still hammer nails with a hammer head.

etc.

Of those words, I would say that 'delighted', 'wonderful', and 'amazed' might take 'very' in unusual circumstances:

3. "How delighted were you?" "Very delighted."

MrP
thankyou,MrPedantic:)
I understand that gradable adjectives are those that can be modified by 'very' or 'so' and can have comparative and superlative forms. If Martin Hewings were right in that 'terrible' is non-gradable, some 10000 e-books available in Project Gutenberg and 400 articles given now online by CNN should be deemed to be using an ungrammatical expression. I wonder on what criteria Matin Hweings has determined what is gradable and what is not.
paco
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