Gradable and extreme adjectives guessing game

with modals of deduction

Time to Talk Navy A Units 18 and 19 

Warmer – discuss and agree

Choose one of the categories below, ask “How… is…?” about one example of that thing (e.g. “How small is Tom Cruise?” for famous people), and see if you agree with your partner. You can use the suggested adjectives there or any other suitable adjectives. 


Useful words for ranking

absolutely/ completely/ totally

extremely/ incredibly

very/ really

fairly/ quite

not very/ not so/ a little

not at all


Useful phrases for agreeing and disagreeing/ ranking

“That just what I would say.”

“I would go even further and say that it is…”

“I wouldn’t go so far. I’d say that…” 

 Ask about any adjectives which you are not sure how to use.

Guessing game

Choose a category and an example and say the category but not the example, e.g. “job”, but not that you chose “dentist” to talk about. Give hints describing that job with adverb plus adjective like “It’s fairly unpleasant” until your partner guesses what you are talking about with “It must be…” (because there is only one possibility that matches everything that you have said). They can only guess once per hint, and they should increase their level of certainty as they get more hints.

Useful phrases for guessing

“It can’t be…”
“It could possibly be…”/ “It’s probably not…”

“It may be…”/ “It might be…”

“It may well be…”/ “It might well be…”

“It’s probably…”

“It’s almost certainly…”

“It must be…”

Useful responses to guesses

“Yes, it could be that. Also,…”/ “Yes, it could be that, but…”

“No, it can’t be that because…”

“Yes, it must be that because… And it is that”


Suggested topics and gradable and extreme adjectives

Animal – cute/ adorable, ugly/ hideous, frightening/ terrifying, yucky/ revolting, small/ tiny, big/ enormous,


Artwork – expensive/ priceless, valuable/ priceless, big/ huge, small/ tiny, good/ fantastic, clever/ genius, different/ unique,


Famous person – handsome/ stunning, pretty/ gorgeous, small/ tiny, nasty/ horrible, admired/ idolised, interesting/ captivating, energetic/ hyper, funny/ hilarious, good at…/ excellent at…, nice/ lovely, rich/ filthy rich, special/ exceptional


Festival/ Celebration/ Ceremony – expensive/ exorbitant, old/ ancient, new/ brand new, long/ endless


Food and drink – unhealthy/ lethal, makes you full/ makes you stuffed, oily/ dripping in oil, sweet/ tooth rotting, easy to cook/ a cinch to cook, hard/ like a rock, difficult to cook/ impossible to cook, yucky/ revolting, tasty/ delicious


Hobby/ Free-time activity – interesting/ fascinating, exciting/ thrilling, pricey/ extortionate, cheap/ free,


Job – tiring/ exhausting, stressful/ panic-inducing, dirty/ filthy, unpleasant/ horrible, good/ wonderful, interesting/ fascinating, busy/ rushed off your feet, challenging/ impossible


Language – tricky to learn/ impossible to learn, important/ essential, beautiful/ gorgeous, ugly/ hideous


Movie – sad/ tragic, funny/ hilarious, exciting/ gripping, good/ wonderful, bad/ awful, confusing/ mind-boggling, scary/ terrifying, memorable/ unforgettable, long/ endless, moving/ heart-wrenching, silly/ idiotic, surprising/ astonishing


Music – sad/ heart-breaking, loud/ ear-splitting,


News story – important/ crucial, worrying/ panic-inducing, sad/ tragic,


Place – difficult to get to/ impossible to get to, beautiful/ stunning, crowded/ packed, dirty/ filthy, hot/ boiling, cold/ freezing, impressive/ awe inspiring, memorable/ unforgettable, noisy/ ear-splitting, old/ ancient, nice/ delightful, poor/ poverty-stricken


School subjects/ Exams – tough/ impossible, confusing/ mind-boggling, boring/ mind-numbing, interesting/ fascinating,


Sport/ Exercise – boring/ mind-numbing, hard/ impossible, useful/ vital, expensive/ exorbitant, painful/ excruciating


Gradable and extreme adjectives presentation

Write pairs of gradable and extreme adjectives next to each other in the left and right bottom squares and write suitable adverbs to go with each kind of adjective in the boxes above them. One adverb can go in both columns. If adjectives or adverbs have the same meaning, put them next to each other in the same box.


Gradable Extreme
Adverbs with gradable adjectives









Adverbs with extreme adjectives
Gradable adjectives


Extreme adjectives (of each gradable adjective on the left)

























Use this mixed list to help add at least 10 more pairs to the task above.

a cinch                             admired                                          adorable                          ancient

astonishing                                    awe inspiring                                awful                                 bad

beautiful                                         big                                                   boiling                              boring

brand new                                     busy                                                captivating                       challenging

cheap                                             clever                                             cold                                   confusing

crowded                                         crucial                                            cute                                   delicious

delightful                                        different                                          difficult                dirty

dripping in oil                                ear-splitting                                   easy

endless                            energetic                                        enormous                        essential

excellent                                        exceptional                                    exciting              excruciating

exhausting                                     exorbitant                                       expensive                        extortionate

fantastic                                         fascinating                                     filthy                                  filthy rich

free                                                 freezing                                          frightening                       full

funny                                              genius                                            good                                 gorgeous

gripping                                          handsome                                     hard                                  heart-breaking

heart-wrenching                           hideous                            hilarious                           horrible

hot                                                   huge                                               hyper                                idiotic

idolised                            important                                        impossible                       impressive

interesting                                      lethal                                              like a rock                        long

loud                                                lovely                                              memorable                      mind-boggling

mind-numbing                 moving                             nasty                                 new

nice                                                 noisy                                               oily                                    old

packed                             painful                                            panic-inducing  poor

poverty-stricken                            pretty                                              priceless                          pricey

revolting                                         rich                                                  rushed off your feet                      sad

scary                                               silly                                                 small                                 special

stressful                                         stuffed                              stunning                           surprising

sweet                                              tasty                                                terrifying                           thrilling

tiny                                                  tiring                                               tooth rotting                     tough

tragic                                              tricky                                              ugly                                   unforgettable

unhealthy                                       unique                              unpleasant                      useful

valuable                                         vital                                                 wonderful                         worrying


Use the paired phrases below to help.


Circle the extreme adjective(s) in each group below. There is at least one in each group. If you aren’t sure, think about which ones mean “very” + one of the other adjectives.

admired/ idolized                                                     adorable/ cute

ancient/ old                                                                astonishing/ surprising

awe inspiring/ impressive                                       awful/ bad

beautiful/ gorgeous/ handsome/ pretty/ stunning

big/ enormous/ huge                                  boiling/ hot

boring/ mind-numbing                               brand new/ new

busy/ rushed off your feet                                       captivating/ fascinating/ interesting

challenging/ difficult/ hard/ impossible/ tough/ tricky

cheap/ free                                                                clever/ genius

cold/ freezing                                              confusing/ mind-boggling

crowded/ packed                                                      crucial/ essential/ important

delicious/ tasty                                            delightful/ lovely/ nice

different/ unique                                                       dirty/ filthy

ear-splitting/ loud/ noisy                            endless/ long

energetic/ hyper                                                       excellent/ fantastic/ good/ wonderful

exceptional/ special                                                 exciting/ gripping/ thrilling

excruciating/ painful                                                 exhausting/ tiring

exorbitant/ expensive/ extortionate/ pricey

filthy rich/ rich                                              frightening/ scary/ terrifying

full/ stuffed                                                                 funny/ hilarious

heart-breaking/ sad/ tragic                                      heart-wrenching/ moving

hideous/ ugly                                                            horrible/ nasty/ unpleasant

idiotic/ silly                                                                 lethal/ unhealthy

memorable/ unforgettable                                       panic-inducing/ stressful/ worrying

poor/ poverty-stricken                                priceless/ valuable

revolting/ yucky                                           small/ tiny

useful/ vital

Check above, then test each other:

  • Read out one group for your partner to identify the extreme adjective from
  • Read out a gradable adjective for your partner to say at least one extreme version of
  • Read out an extreme adjective for your partner to say at least one gradable version of

Rank these expressions by certainty, with ones with the same certainty next to each other.

  • “It can’t be…”
  • “It could possibly be…”
  • “It may be…”
  • “It may well be…”
  • “It might be…”
  • “It might well be…”
  • “It must be…”
  • “It’s almost certainly…”
  • “It’s probably not…”
  • “It’s probably…”


PDF for easy saving and printing: un-gradable-adjectives-guessing-game