In Spanish, there are a number of words as well as a single suffix that can be used to intensify the meaning of other words. Intensifiers are not the same thing as comparatives, superlatives, or augmentatives (see below).
Intensifiers can be used with adjectives, adverbs, nouns, and verbs. They
include words like
muy (very), mucho (much, a lot), and sumamente
|Es muy bonita.
||She is very pretty.
|Tenemos mucho dinero.
||We have a lot of money.
The suffix -ísimo is an intensifier that can be attached to the end of
many adjectives. It changes for gender and number:
If the adjective that -ísimo attaches to ends in a vowel, the vowel is
dropped. There may also be spelling changes due to
|La tarea es facilísima.
||The homework is really easy.
|Ana es bellísima.
||Ana is absolutely beautiful.
||They are super rich.
Intensifiers vs Augumentatives and Diminutives
Whereas augmentatives and diminutives add a particular meaning to the word they modify (such as greatness or ridicule), intensifiers only intensify the meaning of the modified adjective itself.
Intensifiers vs Comparatives
Comparatives compare one person or thing to another. Intensifiers do
not. The adjective modified by an intensifier is very (whatever) all by itself.
Intensifiers vs Superlatives
The superlative is the most/least something of a group. This is sometimes
called the "relative superlative," while intensifiers, particularly the suffix -ísimo,
are sometimes called the "absolute superlative." However, this is a misnomer,
because intensifiers are not comparing anything.
Spanish for Beginners
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