english vocabulary avoid very

Improve your English vocabulary: avoid using VERY

While you increase your knowledge of English, it’s very important that you improve your English vocabulary as well. Perhaps you should try to stop using some words over and over again.

This is the case with very. It can help us highlight or emphasise a particular quality, but we tend to use it too often.

For example:

She was very tired.
Alfred had a very important meeting.


We don’t want you to stop using very. It’s really quite a useful expression and one that will help get you out of a lot of trouble. 

In this lesson, you’ll learn some alternatives to very to help you become an excellent English speaker. Let’s get started!



Very difficult


You might think that learning English is very difficult.

Instead of saying very difficult, you could use different words to stress this idea, such as arduous, tough, complicated, complex, or troublesome. 

Of course, these adjectives don’t all apply to learning English. Don’t worry! English isn’t difficult. It’s all about persevering and practicing what you’ve learnt every day. 


Very expensive


Very expensive is an expression that will be very useful if you want a discount on your next holiday. 

You can also use the following adjectives when you want to show how surprised you are at the high price of something: 



Now you have more tools to use as leverage to get a good deal.


Very funny


Would you like to give a more detailed opinion about the most recent comedy film, your favourite series, or a joke your friends made? 

We want to make sure you can have fun, without restrictions. Here are some options you can use so that you won’t be at a loss for words: 



Remember that you can download our app for free. On it, you’ll find hundreds of fun lessons that will allow you to practice your English from the comfort of your mobile or tablet.


Very great


Even though very great is correct, you won’t often hear it used by native speakers. It’s better to use the following words: 



Don’t forget to visit our podcast section where you can learn more vocabulary and practice your listening skills. 


Very hungry


What are you like when you’re hungry? Some people get angry while others feel an emptiness in their stomachs. In general, you might feel an urge to eat anything that comes your way. Of course, you’ll also say it out loud, “I’m very hungry!”

To avoid using very in this case, there’s one word that says it all: starving.

You can use this expression in a restaurant or at home and your goal will be achieved: you’ll be fed immediately.

I’m starving.


Very nice


Nice means “kind” or “pleasing”. You can use it to talk about a person’s character or something that pleases your senses, such as a work of art.

English has some great alternatives to very nice, including: 



If you want to flatter someone, you won’t be left speechless (without words). Now that you’ve improved your English vocabulary, you’ll have more words to choose from.


Very perfect


Can you remember anything that left you speechless recently because of how perfect it was?

No one is perfect, as the saying goes, although there are things you could describe as almost perfect: a sunset, flowers, a woman’s beauty, a baby, a show, a work of art, and in general, so many things that surprise us in our daily lives.

Nevertheless, the word perfect implies a sense of something absolute. For this reason, using the combination very perfect would be a mistake. 

To convey that feeling when describing events or people, you can use:



Very important


The acronym VIP means very important person and is usually used to identify or highlight a group of people during an event. 

Usually, these people can enjoy a few snacks, a drink, a more comfortable chair, personalised attention, or simply watch a show from a privileged location. 

There may be people or activities that are very important in your life, which you could describe in English using the following expressions:




Very short


Sometimes, you want to tell a story to a friend in complete detail, but for lack of time or space, you simply can’t do it. So, they say, “Make it very short.” How frustrating! 

Some other ways to say very short are:


We hope that you’ve enjoyed this lesson. Now you know that apart from very, you have many options when it comes to emphasising an adjective. You can also use synonyms such as quite, highly, pretty, and rather followed by the adjective that you want to highlight.

Now, we’d like to share a table with you to help synthesise what you’ve learnt.


Keep visiting our blog where you’ll find new lessons that will allow you to practice your English every day. You can also access this content on the ABA English app, from the comfort of your mobile or tablet.

If you want to take your English to the conversational level, you can register for our online course, which has hundreds of lessons and short films that will help you to make English an unforgettable experience.

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One comment

  1. Thesaurus search is a great way to quickly expand your vocabulary in a very short time. Knowing synonyms is especially useful when writing various types of texts in English, where repeating the same words and phrases over and over again is definitely not recommended. Examples: enormously, fundamentally, highly, immensely, terribly, tremendously, vitally, incredibly, hugely, extremely.

    Thanks for sharing wider range of uses.

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