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to a high degree; extremely: a very important matter
Not to be confused with:
vary – to be different; modify; deviate: Her actions seem to vary from the norm.
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


1. In a high degree; extremely: very happy; very much admired.
2. Truly; absolutely: the very best advice; attended the very same schools.
3. Very Used in titles: the Very Reverend Jane Smith.
adj. ver·i·er, ver·i·est
1. Complete; absolute: at the very end of his career.
2. Being the same; identical: That is the very question she asked yesterday.
3. Being particularly suitable or appropriate: the very item needed to increase sales.
4. Used to emphasize the importance of what is specified: The very mountains shook.
5. Being nothing more than what is specified; mere: The very act of riding in the car made him dizzy.
6. Archaic Genuine; true: "Like very sanctity, she did approach" (Shakespeare).

[Middle English verrai, from Old French verai, true, from Vulgar Latin *vērācus, from Latin vērāx, vērāc-, truthful, from vērus, true; see wērə-o- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: In general usage very is not used alone to modify a past participle. Thus, we may say of a book that it has been very much praised or very much criticized (where very modifies the adverb much), but not that it has been very praised or very criticized. However, many past participle forms do double duty as adjectives, in which case modification by very or by analogous adverbs such as quite is acceptable, as in a very celebrated singer or a performance that was quite polished. In some cases there is disagreement as to whether a particular participle can be used properly as an adjective. In the past, critics have objected to the use of very by itself with delighted, interested, annoyed, pleased, disappointed, and irritated. All of these words are now well established as adjectives, however, as indicated by the fact that they are used attributively, that is, in juxtaposition to a noun they modify, as in a delighted audience, a pleased look, a disappointed young man. But the situation is not always clear. Some speakers accept phrases such as very appreciated, very astonished, or very heartened, while others prefer alternatives using very much. Some participles can be treated as adjectives in one sense but not another, as in a very inflated reputation but not a very inflated tire. As a result, there is no sure way to tell which participles can be modified by a bare very. When in doubt, using very much is generally correct.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(intensifier) used to add emphasis to adjectives that are able to be graded: very good; very tall.
adj (prenominal)
1. (intensifier) used with nouns preceded by a definite article or possessive determiner, in order to give emphasis to the significance, appropriateness, or relevance of a noun in a particular context, or to give exaggerated intensity to certain nouns: the very man I want to see; his very name struck terror; the very back of the room.
2. (intensifier) used in metaphors to emphasize the applicability of the image to the situation described: he was a very lion in the fight.
3. archaic
a. real or true; genuine: the very living God.
b. lawful: the very vengeance of the gods.
[C13: from Old French verai true, from Latin vērax true, from vērus true]
Usage: In strict usage adverbs of degree such as very, too, quite, really, and extremely are used only to qualify adjectives: he is very happy; she is too sad. By this rule, these words should not be used to qualify past participles that follow the verb to be, since they would then be technically qualifying verbs. With the exception of certain participles, such as tired or disappointed, that have come to be regarded as adjectives, all other past participles are qualified by adverbs such as much, greatly, seriously, or excessively: he has been much (not very) inconvenienced; she has been excessively (not too) criticized
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈvɛr i)

adv., adj. (Archaic) ver•i•er, ver•i•est. adv.
1. in a high degree; extremely; exceedingly: a very clever person.
2. (used as an intensive emphasizing superlatives or stressing identity or oppositeness): the very best thing; in the very same place.
3. precise; particular: That is the very item we want.
4. mere: The very thought of it is distressing.
5. sheer; utter: the very joy of living.
6. actual: caught in the very act of stealing.
7. being such in the true or fullest sense of the term: the very heart of the matter.
8. Archaic.
a. true; genuine.
b. rightful or legitimate.
[1200–50; Middle English < Old French verai « Latin vērāx truthful; see veracious]
usage: Past participles that have become established as adjectives can, like most English adjectives, be modified by the adverb very: We were very concerned for your safety. very does not modify past participles that are clearly verbal; for example, The lid was very sealed is not an idiomatic construction, while The lid was very tightly sealed is. Confusion or controversy sometimes arises over whether a past participle is truly adjectival and thus able to be modified by very without an intervening adverb (as tightly in the last example above). However, there is rarely any objection to the use of this intervening adverb, no matter how the past participle is functioning. Such use often occurs in edited writing: We were very much relieved to find the children asleep. They were very greatly excited by the news.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



So, very, and too can all be used to intensify the meaning of an adjective, an adverb, or a word like much or many.

1. 'very'

Very is a simple intensifier, without any other meaning.

The room was very small.
We finished very quickly.
See very
2. 'so'

So can suggest an emotion in the speaker, such as pleasure, surprise, or disappointment.

Juan makes me so angry!
Oh, thank you so much!

So can also refer forward to a result clause introduced by that.

The traffic was moving so slowly that he arrived three hours late.
3. 'too'

Too suggests an excessive or undesirable amount.

The soup is too salty.
She wears too much make-up.

Too can be used with a to-infinitive or with for to say that a particular result does not or cannot happen.

He was too late to save her.
The water was too cold for swimming.
See too


1. basic use

You use very to emphasize an adjective or adverb.

She is a very tall woman.
That's very nice of you.
Think very carefully.
2. used with -ed words

You can use very to emphasize adjectives ending in -ed, especially when they refer to a state of mind or emotional condition. For example, you can say 'I was very bored' or 'She was very frightened'.

He seemed very interested in everything.
Joe must have been very worried about her.

However, don't use 'very' to emphasize -ed words when they are part of a passive construction. Don't say, for example, 'He was very liked'. You say 'He was well liked'. Similarly, don't say 'She was very admired'. You say 'She was very much admired' or 'She was greatly admired'.

Argentina were well beaten by Italy in the first round.
I was greatly influenced by his work.
He is very much resented by his colleagues.

Don't say that someone is 'very awake'. You say that they are wide awake or fully awake.

He was wide awake by the time we reached the hotel.
He was not fully awake.

Don't say that someone is 'very asleep'. You say that they are sound asleep or fast asleep.

Chris is still sound asleep on the sofa.
Charlotte had been fast asleep when he left her.

Don't say that two things are 'very apart'. You say that they are far apart.

His two hands were far apart.

Also, don't use 'very' with adjectives which already describe an extreme quality. Don't say, for example, that something is 'very enormous'. Here is a list of adjectives of this kind:

3. comparatives and superlatives

Don't use 'very' with comparatives. Don't say, for example, 'Tom was very quicker than I was'. You say 'Tom was much quicker than I was' or 'Tom was far quicker than I was'.

It was much colder than before.
This is a far better picture than the other one.
See far

You can use very in front of best, worst, or any superlative which ends in -est.

It's one of Shaw's very best plays.
We must deal with the very worst crimes.
They use the very latest technology.

However, don't use 'very' with superlatives that begin with the most. Instead you use much, by far, or far and away.

He is much the most likely winner.
The last exam was by far the most difficult.
This is far and away the most important point.
4. used with 'first', 'next', and 'last'

You can use very in front of first, next, or last to emphasize that something is the first, next, or last thing of its kind.

I was their very first guest.
We left the very next day.
Those were his very last words.

Be Careful!
Don't use 'very' to say that something happens because someone or something has a quality to an unusually large extent. Don't say, for example, 'He looked very funny that we couldn't help laughing'. You say 'He looked so funny that we couldn't help laughing'.

We were so angry we asked to see the manager.
He had shouted so hard that his throat was sore.
See so
5. prepositions

Don't use 'very' in front of prepositions such as ahead of, above, or behind. Instead you use well or far.

Figures are well above average.
David was following not far behind us.
6. prepositional phrases

Don't use 'very' in front of prepositional phrases. Don't say, for example, 'He was very in love with Kate'. Instead, you use very much or greatly.

The findings were very much in line with previous research.
I was greatly in awe of Jane at first.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.very - precisely as stated; "the very center of town"
precise - sharply exact or accurate or delimited; "a precise mind"; "specified a precise amount"; "arrived at the precise moment"
2.very - being the exact same one; not any other:; "this is the identical room we stayed in before"; "the themes of his stories are one and the same"; "saw the selfsame quotation in two newspapers"; "on this very spot"; "the very thing he said yesterday"; "the very man I want to see"
same - same in identity; "the same man I saw yesterday"; "never wore the same dress twice"; "this road is the same one we were on yesterday"; "on the same side of the street"
Adv.1.very - used as intensifiers; `real' is sometimes used informally for `really'; `rattling' is informal; "she was very gifted"; "he played very well"; "a really enjoyable evening"; "I'm real sorry about it"; "a rattling good yarn"
2.very - precisely so; "on the very next page"; "he expected the very opposite"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. exact, actual, precise, same, real, express, identical, unqualified, selfsame, v (S.M.S.) Those were his very words to me.
2. ideal, perfect, right, fitting, appropriate, suitable, spot on (Brit. informal), apt, just the job (Brit. informal), v (S.M.S.) the very person we need for the job
3. mere, simple, plain, nothing more than, v (S.M.S.) the very sound of a telephone ringing evoked fear
Usage: In strict usage, adverbs of degree such as very, too, quite, really, and extremely are used only to qualify adjectives: he is very happy; she is too sad. By this rule, these words should not be used to qualify past participles that follow the verb to be, since they would then be technically qualifying verbs. With the exception of certain participles, such as tired or disappointed, that have come to be regarded as adjectives, all other past participles are qualified by adverbs such as much, greatly, seriously, or excessively: he has been much (not very) inconvenienced; she has been excessively (not too) criticized.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


To a high degree:
Informal: awful.
Chiefly Regional: mighty.
1. Being one and not another or others; not different in nature or identity:
2. Strictly distinguished from others:
3. Considered apart from anything else:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
أوَّلبالضَّبْطتُسْتَعْمَل للتَّوْكيد بِمَعنى: وَحْدَهجِداجِدّاً
velmimocpouhýpravýpřesně ten
algerlega; allraalveg; sem er hæstur/efsturmjögòaî eitt; uppástungan einsamur, einmitt sá sem
jau geraijau vienkaip tik tas
īstaisļotipatstieši tastikai


1. (= extremely) → muy
it is very cold [object] → está muy frío; [weather] → hace mucho frío
the food was very goodla comida estuvo muy buena
"that will be all" - "very good, sir"-nada más -muy bien, señor
you're not being very helpfulme ayudas bien poco, no me estás siendo de gran ayuda
very high frequency (Rad) (abbr VHF) → frecuencia f muy alta
that's very kind of youeres muy amable
very muchmucho
"did you enjoy it?" - "very much (so)"-¿te ha gustado? -sí, mucho
she feels very much betterse encuentra muchísimo mejor
I was very (much) surprisedme sorprendió mucho, para mí fue una gran sorpresa
I didn't like it very muchno me gustó mucho
he very nearly missed the buspor muy poco pierde el autobús
we don't see each other very oftennos vemos poco, no nos vemos mucho
he's so very poores tan pobre
it's not so very difficultno es tan difícil
very well, I'll do what I canmuy bien or bueno, haré lo que pueda
he couldn't very well refuseno pudo negarse a hacerlo
2. (= absolutely)
the very best she eats nothing but the very bestsólo come lo mejor de lo mejor
we did our very besthicimos todo lo que pudimos
at the very earliestcomo muy pronto
the very firstel primero de todos
try your very hardestesfuérzate al máximo
the very lastel último de todos
at the very latesta más tardar, como muy tarde
at the very leastcomo mínimo
at the very mosta lo sumo, como mucho, como máximo
that is the very most we can offereso es todo lo más que podemos ofrecer
the very next dayprecisamente el día siguiente
she was given her very own TV showle dieron su propio programa de televisión
it's my very ownes el mío
the very same hatel mismísimo sombrero
3. (alone, in reply to question) → mucho
"are you tired?" - "(yes,) very"-¿estás cansado? -(sí,) mucho
1. (= precise) → mismo
the very bishop himself was thereel mismísimo obispo estaba allí
from the very beginningdesde el comienzo mismo
that very dayese mismo día
in this very houseen esta misma casa
he's the very man we wantes justo el hombre que buscamos
at that very momenten ese mismo momento
it's the very thing!¡es justo lo que necesitamos!
those were his very wordseso fue exactamente lo que dijo
2. (= mere)
the very idea!¡qué cosas dices!, ¡cómo se te ocurre!
the very thought (of it) makes me feel sickcon sólo pensarlo me da náuseas
3. (= extreme)
at the very bottomabajo del todo
at the very endjusto al final, al final de todo
at the very toparriba del todo
4. (liter) the veriest rascalel mayor bribón
the veriest simpletonel más bobo
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


(= extremely) → très
He's very tall → Il est très grand.
It's not very interesting → Ce n'est pas très intéressant.
They understand things very quickly → Ils comprennent les choses très vite.
I'm very sorry → Je suis vraiment désolé.
very little prontrès peu; adjtrès peu de
They have very little money
very well → très bien
very much advbeaucoup; adjbeaucoup de
He's very much like my father → Il ressemble beaucoup à mon père.
I like him very much → Je l'aime beaucoup.
There isn't very much water → Il n'y a pas beaucoup d'eau.
very much so (in replies)énormément
(with superlatives)tout except with fem adj beginning with a consonant, toute with fem adj beginning with a consonant
the very last → le tout dernier, la toute dernière
at the very least → à tout le moins
(= exactly) → exactement
the very same thing → exactement la même chose
the very same day → exactement le même jour
(= actual) → même after n
Those were his very words → Ce furent ses paroles mêmes.
She died in this very house
BUT Elle est morte ici-même dans cette maison.
in the very house where ... . → dans la maison même où ...
(= mere) → seul(e)
the very thought → la seule pensée
the very though of doing sth → la seule pensée de faire qch
The very thought of it alarms me → Cette seule pensée m'effraie., Je m'effraie à cette seule pensée.
(= extreme) at the very back of sth → tout au fond de qch
at the very top [building, mountain] → tout en haut; [hierarchy, organization] → aux échelons les plus élevés
We still don't have enough women at the very top → Nous n'avons toujours pas assez de femmes aux échelons les plus élevés.
the very end → la toute fin
at the very end → à la toute fin
the very beginning → le tout début
He was wrong from the very beginning → Il avait tort depuis le tout début.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adj (Mil) Very lightLeuchtkugel f


(= extremely)sehr; it’s very well writtenes ist sehr gut geschrieben; I’m very sorryes tut mir sehr leid; that’s not very funnydas ist überhaupt nicht lustig; I’m not very good at mathsich bin in Mathe nicht besonders gut; it’s very possiblees ist durchaus or (sehr) gut möglich; very probablyhöchstwahrscheinlich; he is so very lazyer ist SO faul; how very oddwie eigenartig; Very Important Personprominente Persönlichkeit; very littlesehr wenig; very little milkganz or sehr wenig Milch; how well do you know her? — not verywie gut kennst du sie? — nicht besonders gut
(= absolutely)aller-; very best qualityallerbeste Qualität; very lastallerletzte(r, s); very firstallererste(r, s); she is the very cleverest in the classsie ist die Klassenbeste; at the very latestallerspätestens; this is the very last time I’ll warn youich warne dich jetzt zum allerletzten Mal; to do one’s very bestsein Äußerstes tun; this is the very bestdas ist das Allerbeste; this is the very most I can offerdas ist mein äußerstes Angebot; at the very mostallerhöchstens; at the very leastallerwenigstens; to be in the very best of healthsich bester Gesundheit erfreuen; they are the very best of friendssie sind die dicksten Freunde
very muchsehr; thank you very muchvielen Dank; I liked it very muches hat mir sehr gut gefallen; very much biggersehr viel größer; very much respectedsehr angesehen; he is very much the more intelligenter ist bei Weitem der Intelligentere; he doesn’t work very mucher arbeitet nicht sehr viel; very much sosehr (sogar)
(for emphasis) he fell ill and died the very same dayer wurde krank und starb noch am selben Tag; he died the very same day as Kennedyer starb genau am selben Tag wie Kennedy; the very same hatgenau der gleiche Hut; we met again the very next daywir trafen uns am nächsten or folgenden Tag schon wieder; the very next day he was tragically killedschon einen Tag später kam er unter tragischen Umständen ums Leben; what he predicted happened the very next weekwas er vorhersagte, trat in der Woche darauf tatsächlich ein; my very own carmein eigenes Auto; a house of your very ownein eigenes Häuschen
very well, if that’s what you wantnun gut, wenn du das willst; very good, sirgeht in Ordnung, mein Herr, sehr wohl, mein Herr (dated); if you want that, very well, but …wenn du das willst, in Ordnung or bitte, aber …; I couldn’t very well say noich konnte schlecht Nein sagen
(= precise, exact)genau; that very day/momentgenau an diesem Tag/in diesem Augenblick; in the very middle of the picturegenau in der Mitte des Bildes; this laboratory is the very heart of our factorydieses Labor ist der Kern unseres Werkes; at the very heart of the organizationdirekt im Zentrum der Organisation; on the very spot where …genau an der Stelle, wo …; those were his very wordsgenau das waren seine Worte; before my very eyesdirekt vor meinen Augen; you are the very person I want to speak tomit IHNEN wollte ich sprechen; the very thing/man I needgenau das, was/genau der Mann, den ich brauche; the very thing!genau das Richtige!; to catch somebody in the very actjdn auf frischer Tat ertappen
(= extreme)äußerste(r, s); in the very beginningganz am Anfang; at the very endganz am Ende; at the very back/frontganz hinten/vorn(e); go to the very end of the roadgehen Sie die Straße ganz entlang or durch; to the very end of his lifebis an sein Lebensende; in the very depths of his soulim Tiefsten seines Herzens
(= mere) the very thought of itallein schon der Gedanke daran, der bloße Gedanke daran; the very idea!nein, so etwas!
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. adv
a. (extremely) → molto, tanto
very happy → molto felice, felicissimo/a
it's very cold → fa molto freddo
very well → molto bene
very little → molto poco
very much → molto, tanto (stronger) → moltissimo, tantissimo
very much younger → molto più giovane
are you tired? - (yes,) very → sei stanco? - (sì,) tanto
he's so very poor → è poverissimo
b. (absolutely) the very firstil/la primissimo/a, proprio il/la primo/a
the very last → l'ultimissimo/a, proprio l'ultimo/a
the very latest design → l'ultimissimo modello
they are the very best of friends → sono grandissimi amici
to wish sb the very best of luck → augurare a qn ogni fortuna
at the very most → al massimo
at the very least → come minimo, almeno
at the very latest → al più tardi
he won't come until 9 o'clock, at the very earliest → non arriverà prima delle 9, al più presto
the very same hat → lo stesso identico cappello
it's my very own → è proprio mio
2. adj
a. (precise) → stesso/a
that very day → quello stesso giorno
his very words → le sue stesse parole
her very words were ... → le sue parole testuali furono...
he's the very man we want → è proprio l'uomo che cercavamo
the very book which → proprio il libro che
the very thing! → proprio quel che ci vuole!
b. (mere) → solo/a
the very thought (of it) alarms me → il solo pensiero mi spaventa, sono spaventato solo al pensiero
the very idea! → neanche per sogno!
c. (extreme) at the very bottom/topproprio in fondo/in cima
at the very end → proprio alla fine
to the very end → fino alla fine
in the very depths of the jungle → nel cuore della giungla
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈveri) adverb
1. to a great degree. He's very clever; You came very quickly; I'm not feeling very well.
2. absolutely; in the highest degree. The very first thing you must do is ring the police; She has a car of her very own.
1. exactly or precisely the thing, person etc mentioned. You're the very man I want to see; At that very minute the door opened.
2. extreme. at the very end of the day; at the very top of the tree.
3. used for emphasis in other ways. The very suggestion of a sea voyage makes her feel seasick.
very well
used to express (reluctant) agreement to a request etc. `Please be home before midnight.' `Very well.'
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


جِدّاً velmi meget sehr πολύ muy erittäin très vrlo molto 非常に 대단히 erg svært bardzo muito очень mycket อย่างมาก çok rất
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
Collins Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009