Adverbios de grado

Los adverbios de grado nos informan sobre la intensidad o el grado de una acción, un adjetivo u otro adverbio. Los adverbios de grado se colocan generalmente antes del adjetivo, verbo o adverbio al que modifican, aunque hay ciertas excepciones que se explican más abajo.

Adverbio de grado Modifica Ejemplo
extremely Adjetivo The water was extremely cold.
quite Adjetivo The movie is quite interesting.
just Verbo He was just leaving.
almost Verbo She has almost finished.
very Adverbio She is running very fast.
too Adverbio You are walking too slowly.
enough Adverbio You are running fast enough.

Uso de "enough"

Enough puede utilizarse como adverbio o como determinante.

Enough como adverbio

Enough como adverbio significa "en el grado necesario". Se coloca después del adjetivo o adverbio al que modifica y no antes como ocurre con otros adverbios. Puede emplearse tanto en oraciones negativas como afirmativas.

Ejemplos
  • Is your coffee hot enough?
  • This box isn't big enough.
  • He didn't work hard enough.
  • I got here early enough.

Enough va seguido a menudo de to + infinitivo.

Ejemplos
  • He didn't work hard enough to pass the exam.
  • Is your coffee hot enough to drink?
  • She's not old enough to get married.
  • I got here early enough to sign up.

Enough también puede ir seguido de for + alguien o for + algo.

Ejemplos
  • The dress was big enough for me.
  • She's not experienced enough for this job.
  • Is the coffee hot enough for you?
  • He didn't work hard enough for a promotion.
Enough como determinante

Enough significa "suficiente" cuando funciona como determinante y se coloca antes del nombre al que modifica. Se emplea con nombres contables en plural y con nombres incontables.

Ejemplos
  • We have enough bread.
  • You have enough children.
  • They don't have enough food.
  • I don't have enough apples.

Uso de "too"

Too siempre funciona como adverbio pero tiene dos significados distintos, cada uno con sus respectivas reglas de uso.

Too con el significado de "también"

Cuando too quiere decir "también", se coloca al final de la proposición a la que modifica.

Ejemplos
  • I would like to go swimming too, if you will let me come.
  • Can I go to the zoo too?
  • Is this gift for me too?
  • I'm not going to clean your room too!
Too con el significado de "demasiado"

Cuando too quiere decir "demasiado", se coloca antes del adjetivo o adverbio que modifica. Se puede utilizar tanto en frases afirmativas como negativas.

Ejemplos
  • This coffee is too hot.
  • He works too hard.
  • Isn't she too young?
  • I am not too short!

Too va seguido a menudo de to + infinitivo.

Ejemplos
  • The coffee was too hot to drink.
  • You're too young to have grandchildren!
  • I am not too tired to go out tonight.
  • Don't you work too hard to have any free time?

Too también puede ir seguido de for + alguien o for + algo.

Ejemplos
  • The coffee was too hot for me.
  • The dress was too small for her.
  • He's not too old for this job.
  • Sally's not too slow for our team.

Uso de "very"

Very se coloca antes de un adverbio o un adjetivo para reforzarlo.

Ejemplos
  • The girl was very beautiful.
  • The house is very expensive.
  • He worked very quickly.
  • She runs very fast.

Para expresar la forma negativa o lo contrario de un adjetivo o un adverbio, se puede añadir not al verbo, utilizar antónimos (adjetivos o adverbios con el significado opuesto), o bien emplear not very con el adjetivo o adverbio. El significado, con estas tres variaciones, no es idéntico. En general, la frase con not very será más elegante por ser menos directa.

Ejemplos
Frase original Significado contrario con "not" Significado contrario con "not very" Significado contrario con antónimos
The girl was beautiful. The girl was not beautiful. The girl was not very beautiful. The girl was ugly.
He worked quickly. He did not work quickly. He did not work very quickly. He worked slowly.
"Very" y "too" no significan lo mismo

Hay una gran diferencia de significado entre very y too. Very expresa un hecho, mientras que too sugiere que hay algún problema. Es la misma diferencia que hay entre las palabras "mucho" y "demasiado" en español.

Ejemplos
  • He speaks very quickly.
  • He speaks too quickly for me to understand.
  • It is very hot outside.
  • It is too hot outside to go for a walk.
Otros adverbios que se usan como "very"

Algunos adverbios corrientes se emplean igual que very para intensificar el grado de los adjetivos y adverbios a los que modifican.

En un grado muy intenso En grado intenso En un grado incierto
extremely, terribly, amazingly, wonderfully, insanely especially, particularly, uncommonly, unusually, remarkably, quite pretty, rather, fairly, not especially, not particularly
The movie was amazingly interesting. The movie was particularly interesting. The movie was fairly interesting.
She sang wonderfully well. She sang unusually well. She sang pretty well.
The lecture was terribly boring. The lecture was quite boring. The lecture was rather boring.

Inversiones con adverbios negativos

Normalmente el sujeto se coloca antes del verbo, pero algunos adverbios ingleses con sentido negativo pueden provocar la inversión del sujeto y el verbo al ir colocados al principio de la oración. Esta inversión solo ocurre por escrito, nunca en el lenguaje oral.

Adverbio Frase normal Inversión
Never I have never seen such courage. Never have I seen such courage.
Rarely She rarely left the house. Rarely did she leave the house.
Not only She did not only the cooking but the cleaning as well. Not only did she do the cooking, but the cleaning as well.
Scarcely I scarcely closed the door before he started talking. Scarcely did I close the door before he started talking.
Seldom We seldom cross the river after sunset. Seldom do we cross the river sunset.