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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody and welcome back to Top Words.
My name is Alisha and today, we're going to talk about 10 words for emphasis.
These are words that you can use before a verb or before an adjective to emphasize that word. Let's go!
1. really
The first word is "really."
"Really" is one of the most basic emphasis words. If you like, you can check the video I did about "really" and the next word in this list, "very." I talked about the differences in depth between "really" and "very" in a video called Really VS Very on this YouTube channel which was posted in Octoberish of 2017. Go check that out, if you like.
So, "really" is a word we can use before an adjective to add emphasis. We can also use "really" before a verb. This is a key difference between "really" and "very." So before an adjective or before a verb, to slightly enhance, to slightly emphasize the meaning of the word following "really."
So, "I really like pizza."
Or, "It's really hot in here," for example.
Or, "I really hope you had fun today."
"He really likes soccer."
2. very
Okay, the next word is "very."
So, "very" is used in a way that is similar to "really." However, we cannot use "very" before a verb. We can only use "very" to modify an adjective. We can use "very" before an adjective.
So, "It's very hot in here."
"I think pizza is very good," for example.
But, I cannot use "very" before a verb, so please be careful. This is a difference between "very" and "really."
"She's a very good writer."
3. so
The next emphasizer is "so."
"So" is very casual. We can put "so" before a lot of things and "so" is fun because we can stretch out the vowel sound. We can say "soooo" to emphasize with our voice instead of choosing a different word, but it's very, very casual.
So, you can say…
"You're so funny!"
Or, "That was so good."
Or, "I'm so bummed out right now." "Bummed out" means sad.
"I'm so happy."
Or, I'm so tired today," for example.
So, use "so" and you can make it shorter or longer to change the level of emphasis in your situation. Hmm, so, so.
4. way
The next word is "way."
"Way" is also very casual. Depending on where you're from in the world, you may or may not hear "way" used as an emphasizer. "Way" is used a lot on the west coast of the USA. "Way" can be used alone as well, like similar to "I know" or "yeah" as an agreement. People might sometimes say "way" like in response to… in response to someone saying, "no way" like "I don't believe you. No way!" People can respond saying, "way" like "yes," yes. You will hear this sometimes, but you will also hear it used before an adjective to emphasize the adjective.
Like, "This food was way good."
Or, "She was way good at singing."
Or, "This move is like way bad, man."
So, again, I'm using kind of, like the really casual, almost boyish way of speaking. "Way" is typically used in extremely casual situations and it tends to be more among the young people, specifically young men, but young women use it too, as well. So, "way," way.
In a sentence…
"This burger is way good!"
5. super
"Super" is the next word.
"Super" is another very casual emphasis word. We can use "super" before an adjective to change the… the emphasis of the word. We can use it before positive and negative adjectives.
"My test was super hard."
Or "That turkey was super good."
Or "The burrito I ate yesterday was super good."
"My barbecue was super fun."
So, "super" is very casual, very friendly. It sounds, also not so serious.
We can use it before negative adjectives, so like…
"Ehh, that's super disgusting."
Or, "Oh my gosh, this is super stressful this week," for example.
So, "super," super.
6. incredibly
The next word is "incredibly."
We see the word "incredible" in this word. The root is "incredible."
"Incredible" is like, really, it's extraordinary, difficult to believe, it's awesome, it's great, "incredibly." But, we can use this word before a negative adjective or before a positive "adjective."
So we can say…
"This was incredibly good."
"Incredibly interesting book."
"Incredibly terrible haircut," as well.
So, this is just a stronger emphasis word. It's not so casual though. You might see this in writing or you might see it in more formal spoken situations. You can use it in speaking, I suppose, but if you use the word "incredibly" when you're speaking, it's going to sound more extreme. It's going to sound more, like you're adding more emphasis than if you chose a word like "really" or "very." So "incredibly" has increased emphasis about it, "incredibly."
For example…
"This dessert is incredibly delicious," yes.
7. ridiculously
The next word is "ridiculously."
So, "ridiculous" is the root here. "Ridiculous" means, like strange or crazy or, again, it's hard to believe, something is so ridiculous. "Ridiculously" (adjective). So again, positive and negative adjectives can be applied here. This is also a rather strong emphasizer, so it's stronger than "so," "very," "really." It's about the same level as "incredibly" or "ridiculously." But because the word is "ridiculous," I feel that "incredibly" is a little more positive. We can use "ridiculously" like "ridiculously good" or "ridiculously funny," but it sounds a little like, maybe not quite as serious or not quite as much praise as with "incredibly," for example. So "ridiculously," ridiculously is also a word we can use.
"My company made a ridiculously complex policy."
Or, "This was a ridiculously difficult test," for example.
So, it's just, ah, it's a bit, it's a bit dumb it seems sometimes. So ridiculous. I can't understand it. It's crazy. Okay.
8. amazingly
The next word is "amazingly."
So, the root is "amazing" here which implies a good meaning. It implies a positive meaning. You'll see this used in front of positive adjectives, but again, we can use it in front of negative adjectives.
So, "She's an amazingly good singer."
Or, "This was an amazingly delicious meal."
We can use it in front of negative words like, "Woah, that's amazingly bad," but using a word like "amazing" with "bad" creates a kind of odd contrast, so you might hear people speaking and writing with these interesting contrasts, but maybe they're choosing those words to create that contrast, to create that interesting feeling there.
So, I tend to use "amazingly" more with positive adjectives.
In this sentence…
"That singer is amazingly talented!"
9. unbelievably
"Unbelievably" is a great word because you can use it equally, with equal level enthusiasm for both positive and negative situations. So, "believe" is the root. "Un" means not, so not believable in other words. So, something is so extreme, something is so extreme, something is so much, whatever, the adjective is, that it's difficult to believe, you can't believe it. So, it's a very, very strong emphasizer in this way. So, "unbelievably good" or "unbelievably bad," you can use both of them to create a very strong emphasis.
So, how was your day today?
"Unbelievably good!"
Or, how was your day today?
"Unbelievably bad!"
Both are perfectly fine and both are very acceptable, but they create totally opposite meanings. So just be cautious of the type of adjective we use after this word, "unbelievably."
In this sentence…
"The movie was unbelievably long."
10. extremely
The next word is "extremely."
So the root here is "extreme." So, I would say "extremely" is like a step above "very," but not quite at "incredible," so it's like "very," maybe "extremely" and "incredibly" perhaps. "Extremely" is kind of like a nice intermediate-level emphasis word, I feel. So, "extremely," again, we can use it with positive and negative adjectives.
So, "This was extremely good,"
"This was extremely bad."
I think I kinda feel like it's pretty easy to remember this one as well. Something is extremely good or extremely bad. It's easy to use this one. You can apply it in many different situations. It's not super formal, it's not super casual, super, so you can try, you can try this one out a lot, if you're looking to move up from like "really" or "so" or "very," you can try to use "extremely." You'll sound a little more formal, a little bit more formal. Give it a try, so, but just remember, "extreme" is the root, so you're extremely emphasizing something.
So, let's give some examples.
"This is an extremely difficult task."
Or, "It's extremely hot today."
Or, "It's extremely humid outside," for example.
So, "extremely," extreme.