Extreme adjectives

Most intermediate students and higher know the basic range of adjectives, but there are hundreds more which your students will enjoy using to describe books, films, holidays and interesting situations. Help your students to widen their vocabulary by teaching them some interesting adjectives below.

How to teach new adjectives

The teacher says the ‘normal’ adjective and asks the student what they think the extreme version is. If they don’t know, then teach them the new word from this list.

In some cases the adjective will be from Latin (think, ‘meticulous’ or ‘furious’), in which case your student will smile and go, ‘of course!’

In other cases the adjective will be from Anglo-Saxon and/or a compound adjective (think, ‘heartening’ or ‘mind-blowing’), in which case your student may look a little confused and you’ll have to go into more detail about what they mean.

Next the teacher should ask a student to make a sentence with the new adjective to check the student’s understanding and to help them memorise it.

There are too many words here to teach in one lesson but you could return to the subject every few months to help your student grow their vocabulary.

PDF download for your student

After studying the topic, here is a PDF to give to your students of the complete vocabulary set.

Emotions and states


Angry – furious

Interested – fascinated

Scared – terrified

Surprised – astonished

Tired – exhausted

Excited – exhilarated, thrilled

Happy – delighted


Hungry – famished, starving

Sad – miserable

Upset – devastated

Worried – freaked out

Descriptions of things, places or people


Cold – freezing 

Big – enormous, gigantic

Hot – boiling

Small – tiny, minute /mine-you-t/, miniature

Tastes bad – disgusting, inedible

Tastes good – delicious, tasty, gorgeous


Bad quality – shoddy

Beautiful – stunning, gorgeous

Clean – spotless

Dark – pitch-black

Dirty – filthy

Influential – game-changing

Light – dazzling, blinding  

Loud – deafening

Painful – excruciating

Unfair – outrageous

Descriptions of actions


Bad – terrible, horrific, awful

Careful – meticulous

Funny – hilarious

Good – Incredible, amazing, wonderful, marvellous

Scary – terrifying


Boring – tedious, mind-numbing

Busy – hectic, frenetic

Encouraging – heartening, inspiring, promising

Interesting – fascinating, mind-blowing

Moving – poignant

Careless – reckless

Happy – joyful

Sad – heart-breaking

Unexpected – startling

Final thoughts

What extreme adjectives have we missed? Put them in the comments below and we’ll add them to the list. Happy teaching!

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