Intensifiers

Intensifiers

Intensifiers are words that modify the degree of an adjective. Let’s look at these two:

So and Too

Use of so

The word so is one very small word but it has plethora uses. It is mainly an adverb and it belongs to the family of the intensifier. Let’s look at some of its uses:

  • So is used to show the degree of an adjective/adverb. When this happens, it must be accompanied by a that clause to show the extent of the adjective/adverb
    • He spoke so quickly that I couldn’t hear him.
    • The king was so frustrated that he cursed his subjects.
  • So is used to refer to what has already been mentioned
    • Will he visit the family? I hope so
    • I hope you are fine. If so, glory be to God
  • So can be used as a clipped form of also:
    • He goes to the cinema always. So do I.
    • They hardly respect adults in your village. So in mine.

Note: you don’t use so with negative verbs. Use neither or either.

Don’t say: She will not come. So I won’t.

Say: She will not come. Neither will I.

  • So is also used to show the result and reason for something
    • We waited for you endlessly so we had to get going.
    • No customer came again so we closed the shop.
  • So cannot be used with adjective+noun. Rather, use such.
    • She is so a peaceful fellow.
    • She is such a peaceful fellow.

Use of too

Too is one intensifier that suffers wrong usage. Speakers of English need to know or be reminded that it connotes negativity. It is used to show undesirable extreme, more than necessary/demanded/wanted.

If you are described as too beautiful, you may need to go back to the mirror and make some adjustment.

Other examples are:

  • Tochukwu can be too gentle.
  • The pap seems too sweet for an infant.
  • The teacher is always too serious with assignment.
  • The jester was warned that his joke was too funny.

You can show the affected situation:

  • They were too tired to have a bath.
  • It’s just too cold to go outside bare.

Too can also be used to mean as well/also.

  • After doing the dishes, mop the floor too.
  • Close all doors and the windows too.
  • Never trust those boys and their friends too.

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