adverb + adjective (1)

Combinations of Words that Emphasize Ideas

English courses from ECSC give you professional vocabulary to express yourself clearly.
*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article makes reference to something called “multi-words,” which is ECSC’s own term for vocabulary that contains more than one word.

Imagine this situation. You are in a meeting at work, and your MD is presenting the company’s sales figures from last quarter.

You hear him say things during his presentation like:

  1. “terribly disappointing”
  2. “deeply divided”
  3. “fiercely competitive”

You aren’t familiar with those multi-words, so you lose focus on the meeting because you start wondering about them. You then think that an English course focused on professional vocabulary would help you.

Do you know what those three phrases have in common? They all have an adverb before an adjective in order to emphasize the adjective (make it stronger in meaning).

In this article, we will look at the meaning of each of these three common English word pairs, as well as workplace situations when you might hear them or want to use them yourself! These are the types of multi-words that our English courses teach Thai professionals.

Terribly Disappointing

Adding the adverb ‘terribly’ in front of the adjective ‘disappointing’ emphasizes the ‘disappointing’ part. It is the same meaning as ‘very disappointing’.

At work, you might hear someone in a meeting say, “Sales last quarter were terribly disappointing,” which means that the sales figures were really bad.

Deeply Divided

The next example is ‘deeply divided’ with the adverb ‘deeply’ used to emphasize the word ‘divided’. This common word pair refers to when two people or two groups of people (two sides of an argument) have very different opinions or ideas about a topic.

For example, your boss might say, “The Human Resources department and the Finance department are deeply divided on the sales strategy for next quarter.” This means that the two departments cannot come to an agreement about the plan – perhaps HR believes it will require new personnel, but Finance believes any new hires would be too costly.

Fiercely Competitive

Now let’s look at the English phrase ‘fiercely competitive’. When we place the adverb ‘fiercely’ in front of the adjective ‘competitive’, it adds the meaning of ‘strongly’ or ‘very’ (เยอะ competitive or มาก competitive). For example, your coworker might say, “The market for selling our products is fiercely competitive.” That is your coworker’s way of saying there are a lot of other companies trying to get customers in your industry.

Thoroughly Enjoyed

Finally, we have the adverb-adjective word pair “thoroughly enjoyed,” which appears on our homepage here, with audio! You use this multi-word when you want to express that you liked an experience a lot.

For example, you might have liked what your boss said about the new sales strategy, because it will involve your team. So, you could tell her, “I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation today, I think it made a lot of sense.” That is a way to give someone a nice compliment using a common Business English word pair.

As you can see, adding adverbs before adjectives allows you to express yourself clearly when you speak English. And it also helps you understand when coworkers or customers speak “corporatese” (another name for Business English or Corporate English) to you.

So after reading this, can you think of any combinations of word pairs (adverb + adjective) that would emphasize your ideas in English? Would you like to learn more word pairs related to your job & career? Would your company benefit from ECSC’s English courses focused on vocabulary?

To learn more about how multi-words can help Thai professionals like you to speak better Business English (พูดภาษาอังกฤษ for business) or how ECSC can help Human Resources departments improve their employees’ skills, contact us today.

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