Words to make yourself more interesting

Do you want your stories to sound more interesting? In this lesson I teach you all about ‘informal intensifiers’. That’s the grammatical name for an adverb, such as ‘very’, that makes adjectives stronger, as you see in the following example:
I’m hungry. [subject] + [verb] + [adjective]
I’m very hungry. [subject] + [verb] + [intensifying adverb] + [adjective]

I’m sure you already know the meaning of ‘very’. However, we use different intensifiers depending on the background/social class of the speaker, as well as the formality of the situation. This English lesson explains which intensifiers you should use in different situations.

Some adjectives, mostly swear words, also act as informal intensifiers. This means that people use them in their speech for dramatic effect. In this lesson, you learn a lot of new vocabulary to make your speech more interesting. You also find out about the most commonly used swear words in British English, so that you can be interesting in every situation!

Take the quiz on this lesson at http://www.engvid.com/make-yourself-more-interesting-informal-intensifiers/

TRANSCRIPT

Hi, everyone. I’m Jade. I’m talking about informal intensifiers today and this is a way to make a story more dramatic and it’s what we use as native speakers when we’re, yeah, telling a story.

So when we’re telling a story, we’ll put in these adverbs to add drama you could say. But we… We’ve got a choice of intens-… They’re otherwise known as intensifiers. We’ve got a choice of what words we can use. Any they depend… And the words we choose depend on the context and they depend on the kind of story you want to tell. So let’s…

Firstly, to describe what “posh” is. In the UK, “posh” means belonging to a higher social class. It could be a way of behaving, it could be a way of speaking. So we have that in England because of the queen and all stuff like that, and that’s just the way English British society is. So posh people use different words in their speech. So in their speech, these are the preferred words for posh English. So someone might say: “When my contact lens was in my eye, it was fairly uncomfortable.” Or “rather” has the same meaning. “It was my eye. I was rather upset.” And they mean the same thing. They mean like: “quite”.

Not used so much nowadays, but in the past, posh people liked to say: “Terribly” and “Awfully” and they didn’t mean them as terrible/awful. They actually mean the opposite, they mean “very” and “good”. “I went to the party and it was a terribly lovely party and there were many people there.” Or you could say: “Borris is an awfully good chap.” That means: “very good chap” for a posh person. Posh language is going to prefer these informal intensifiers.

Neutral English-sometimes posh people will use it too-neutral English, we would use all of these adverbs mostly. So you would be intensifying a story by saying: “I was in so much pain.” And you really make the “so” long: “So much pain” when you’re telling a story. Again, you can emphasize the “really”. “I was really stressed.” You could say that. One thing to mention about “quite” is they mean… It means the same thing as “fairly”, but “fairly” is more posh and “quite” is more in the middle or whatever. And “too” means negative. So: “When my contact lens got stuck in my eye…” This sentence is not going to work. The sentence I’m thinking of, you’d say something is too expensive as in too much for a negative when you’re using this adverb.

But we have even more choice for informal intensifiers. We have slang words. So I’m going to teach you some English slang that people use. “Bare” means “very” and “nough” also means “very”. You couldn’t… You could write the… You could write this on Facebook or in chat or something, but you couldn’t write it anywhere formally. “And when my contact lens got stuck in my eye, I was bare stressed. You know that.” Or: “I couldn’t get it out. I was nough upset. I didn’t know what to do.” They mean… “Nough” I used it like “really” there. So you also have this option if you wish.

And I don’t know about in your country, but English people swear quite a lot. I don’t really swear, I don’t really like it. But here is swear words you can use. You probably know this one, I bet you know this one. But do you know this one? “Bloody” it’s not a very strong swear word anymore. At the end of my story I said: “The bloody contact lens finally came out.” You call something “bloody” if it’s irritating or annoying. It used to be strong, it’s not so bad now. And here are two other ones. I found that people say these ones when they don’t like to say this one. They sound kind of like this one and they’re a little bit more polite swear words. And they sound like this: “frigging” or “flipping”. “My flipping contact lens got stuck in my eye.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*