Alternative Words to use instead of “Very” with Example Sentences

The word “very” is a versatile adverb that can emphasize the degree or intensity of an adjective or adverb. It is one of the most commonly used words in the English language, but it can also be one of the most overused.

When used excessively, “very” can make your writing or speech sound repetitive and bland. It can also make your descriptions less vivid and impactful.

The word “very” is commonly used as an intensifier in the English language to give added force or emphasis to adjectives and adverbs. Let’s break down its formulaic usage:

The formula for using “very

1. “Very” with Adjectives

Formula: very + adjective


  • very tall
  • very beautiful
  • very cold
  • very expensive

2. “Very” with Adverbs

Formula: very + adverb


  • very quickly
  • very softly
  • very loudly
  • very easily

3. “Very” with Past Participles

Formula: very + past participle


  • very excited
  • very bored
  • very tired
  • very worried

Note: Not all adjectives and adverbs can be used with “very.” For instance, words that are already in their superlative or absolute form (e.g., “unique,” “perfect,” “dead”) typically don’t pair with “very.” You wouldn’t say “very unique” or “very perfect” because something is either unique or it’s not; something is either perfect or it’s not.


  1. Avoid Redundancy: Ensure you’re not using “very” redundantly. For instance, instead of saying “very unique,” just use “unique.”
  2. Vary Your Vocabulary: Overusing “very” can make your writing or speech sound monotonous. Try to use more descriptive words or synonyms to avoid repetitiveness.
  3. Check Intensifier Compatibility: While “very” is a versatile intensifier, not all words pair naturally with it. For instance, “furious” already conveys a strong emotion, so “very furious” might sound excessive.

Alternatives to “Very”

When choosing an alternative to “very,” it is important to consider the context of your sentence and the specific meaning you want to convey. For example, if you are describing an extremely happy person, you might choose the word “ecstatic” or “thrilled.” If you are describing a very tired person, you might choose the words “exhausted” or “fatigued.”

There are many more specific and nuanced words that you can use instead of “very” to convey the same meaning. Here are a few examples:

Alternatives to “Very” with Example Sentences

Exhausted (instead of very tired)

After the marathon, she felt exhausted.

Ecstatic (instead of very happy)

He was ecstatic when he heard the news of his promotion.

Petrified (instead of very scared)

She was petrified when she heard a strange noise in the empty house.

Freezing (instead of very cold)

The water was freezing, so we decided not to swim.

Scorching (instead of very hot)

The desert sun was scorching during the day.

Gigantic (instead of very big)

The mountain appeared gigantic as we approached its base.

Minuscule (instead of very small)

The writing on the ancient manuscript was minuscule and hard to read.

Deafening (instead of very noisy)

The roar of the crowd was deafening after the goal was scored.

Silent (instead of very quiet)

The forest was silent except for the occasional chirping of birds.

Ancient (instead of very old)

The ancient ruins told tales of civilization’s past.

Youthful (instead of very young)

Despite his age, he had a youthful spirit.

Rapid (instead of very fast)

The river had a rapid current after the heavy rains.

Lethargic (instead of very slow)

The heat made everyone feel lethargic and unmotivated.

Gorgeous (instead of very pretty)

The sunset over the ocean was gorgeous.

Hideous (instead of very ugly)

The monster in the movie was hideous and frightening.

Affluent (instead of very rich)

She comes from an affluent family with a long history of philanthropy.

Impoverished (instead of very poor)

The impoverished village lacked basic healthcare facilities.

Brilliant (instead of very smart)

The young mathematician is truly brilliant, solving problems that stump experts.

Foolish (instead of very stupid)

It was foolish of him to venture out alone at night in an unfamiliar city.

Dazzling (instead of very bright)

Her diamond necklace was dazzling under the spotlight.

Shadowy (instead of very dark)

The shadowy alley was a place few dared to enter.

Furious (instead of very angry)

She was furious when she found out her brother had borrowed her car without asking.

Eager (instead of very excited)

The students were eager to begin the science experiment.

Desolate (instead of very lonely)

The abandoned house had a desolate, haunting feeling.

Vivid (instead of very colorful)

The festival was filled with vivid costumes and decorations.

Shimmering (instead of very shiny)

The lake was shimmering under the summer sun.

Transparent (instead of very clear)

The water was so transparent that you could see to the bottom.

Obscure (instead of very unclear)

His instructions were obscure, leaving everyone confused.

Rigid (instead of very stiff)

The new shoes were rigid and hurt her feet.

Luminous (instead of very bright)

The moon was luminous, lighting up the entire night sky.

Thrilled (instead of very excited)

He was thrilled to be selected as the team captain.

Melancholic (instead of very sad)

The melody of the song was deeply melancholic.

Grave (instead of very serious)

The situation was grave, with tensions escalating rapidly.

Sparse (instead of very thin or scarce)

The forest became sparse as they approached the mountaintop.

Abundant (instead of very plenty)

Fruits are abundant during the summer season in the tropical regions.

Meticulous (instead of very careful)

She was meticulous in her research, ensuring every detail was accurate.

Frivolous (instead of very silly)

He spent his money on frivolous items instead of saving.

Stifling (instead of very stuffy or hot)

The room was stifling, so we opened all the windows.

Opulent (instead of very luxurious)

The opulent mansion was filled with priceless art and antiques.

Mammoth (instead of very large)

The mammoth project took years to complete.

Skeletal (instead of very thin)

After weeks lost in the desert, he was skeletal and weak.

Transparent (instead of very honest)

The company prides itself on its transparent business practices.

Bountiful (instead of very generous)

The harvest was bountiful, leading to a huge feast in the village.

Intense (instead of very strong)

The debate became intense as both sides passionately defended their views.

Muted (instead of very soft or quiet)

The room had a muted color palette, creating a calming atmosphere.

Dense (instead of very thick)

The forest was so dense that sunlight barely touched the ground.

Stellar (instead of very good or outstanding)

Her performance in the play was stellar.

Inferior (instead of very bad)

The knockoff products were of inferior quality.

Ravenous (instead of very hungry)

After the long hike, they were ravenous and ready for a big meal.

Parched (instead of very thirsty)

After hours in the sun, he was parched and searched for water.

Using alternatives to “very” can help you to write more descriptively and vividly. It can also make your writing more engaging and interesting to read. So, next time you are tempted to use the word “very,” try to think of a more specific and nuanced word that will convey the same meaning. Your writing will be better for it.

Practice Questions

Choose the word that can replace ‘very’ to make the sentence more vivid:

She was very happy about her exam results.
a) pleased
b) ecstatic
c) content

Answer: b) ecstatic

While all the options indicate happiness, “ecstatic” provides the highest degree of happiness or joy, making the sentence more vivid and intense. The correct phrase would be “She was ecstatic about her exam results.”

Which of the following is the correct usage of “very”?
a) very best
b) very faster
c) very delicious

Answer: c) very delicious

Option a, “very best,” is redundant since “best” is already a superlative.
Option b, “very faster,” is incorrect as “faster” is a comparative form of “fast,” and we don’t use “very” with comparatives.
Option c, “very delicious,” is the correct usage because “delicious” is an adjective that can be intensified with “very.”

Rewrite the sentence using a stronger adjective, without using “very”:

The movie was very interesting.

Answer: The movie was captivating.

Explanation: “Captivating” is a stronger adjective that conveys a higher degree of interest than just “interesting.” It eliminates the need to use “very” for emphasis.

Remember, while “very” is a versatile word, diversifying your vocabulary with more specific and descriptive words can make your writing and speech more engaging and precise.

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