Premodifiers Used with Degrees of Adjectives

Premodifers can describe or modify an adverb Opens in new window, as it does with an adjective Opens in new window.

Premodifiers are words that modify the meaning of an adverb.

Both adverbs Opens in new window and adjectives Opens in new window in their comparative and superlative forms can be accompanied by premodifiers—single words and phrases—that intensify the degree.

Observe carefully the underlined words in the following sentences:
  • We were a lot more careful this time.
  • We like his work so much better.
  • You'll get your watch back all the faster.

The same means can be used to downplay the degree:
  • The weather this week has been somewhat better.
  • He approaches his schoolwork a little less industriously than his brother does.
And sometimes a set phrase, usually an informal noun phrase, is used for this purpose:
  • He arrived a whole lot sooner than we expected.
  • That's a heck of a lot better.
If the intensifier very Opens in new window accompanies the superlative, a determinerOpens in new window is also required:
  • She is wearing her very finest outfit for the interview.
  • They're doing the very best they can.
Occasionally, the comparative or superlative form appears with a determiner and the entity being modified is understood:
  • Of all the wines produced in Connecticut, I like this one the most.
  • The quicker you finish this project, the better.
  • Of the two brothers, he is by far the faster.