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Do you say “really” or “very” too much?

Do you feel a little bit stuck using the same basic words over and over in English to express your ideas?

Maybe you feel like you want to build up your vocabulary, but you aren’t really sure where to start. 

This week, let’s focus on two ways to avoid repeating the same words and expressions by using stronger adjectives and different adverbs

What does that mean?

First, let’s start with the sentence: “That is really good.” Or this one: “That is very good.”

These sentences are completely acceptable. In fact, I would probably say these too from time to time. They can generally describe what you mean, but

When you say “really good” or “very good“, you are giving up a perfect opportunity to say more impressive and expressive adjectives. Try using these stronger adjectives instead: 

That’s excellent!
That’s tremendous!
That’s fantastic!
That’s superb!

Learn more about how to correctly use “REALLY” and “VERY” on Youtube here.

Secondly, you may find that you start to rely on really and very to strengthen your ideas too much. Using a better adverb can not only show off your excellent vocabulary, but it can also show the exact degree or intensity that you mean. You can be a lot more specific in your description! 

Instead of “It’s very spicy”, say:

It’s fairly spicy.
It’s rather spicy.
It’s quite spicy.
It’s exceptionally spicy!

OK, so how should you start to break out of this habit of using the same basic words too much? 

1. Use stronger adjectives. Use wonderful instead of good next time. Horrid instead of bad. Instead of cold, say freezing. Say minuscule instead of small. The list goes on. 
Download a FREE PDF about stronger adjectives here:

2. Use a variety of adverbs instead of just really and very to intensify your ideas or show the degree. Even if you don’t use stronger adjectives, this will avoid always repeating the same two words!
Download a FREE PDF about adverbs of degree here:


That is tremendous! That is terrific! That is wonderful! That is fantastic!
(Do you see how much stronger that feels than, “That is really good”?!)

Give it a try this week using different descriptive words and make your speaking stronger and more detailed!

Still looking for more activities to do to improve your English this week? 

Check out my Youtube channel and learn another great adverb to use that’s not on the list above.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this material or any other topic in English! I am here to help and love hearing from my students. 

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