Boost your vocabulary: say goodbye to ‘very’ + 22 examples

Be honest, are you guilty of using “very” too much?

“Very” is certainly a useful word. It helps us highlight or emphasise particular things. The use of “very” is warranted sometimes. However, a lot of people, especially those who speak English as a second language tend to use the word “very” too frequently. 

While “very” is used to emphasise a particular quality, sometimes it actually does the opposite! 

Take a look at the following example: 

The fireworks are very loud.

The fireworks are deafening. 

“Deafening” is stronger and more evocative than “very loud”. It also conveys the same meaning in fewer words. 

Note that, again, sometimes using the word “very” is necessary and you shouldn’t substitute them in such cases. 

With that out of the way, let’s expand our vocabulary together!

PS: If you want to level up your idiom game, don’t forget to read our blog here! 

  • Very big 

There are many alternatives to “very big”. Using one of these alternatives will make your sentence stronger. 

Alternatives: massive, enormous, gigantic, humongous. 

Example: The snake they found in her backyard was enormous! 

  • Very funny 

Have you ever caught yourself saying something like “my friend is very funny”? There are a couple of alternatives that you can use in its place. 

Alternatives: hilarious, amusing, comical. 

Example: My friend is hilarious! 

  • Very pretty 

You might be thinking, “oh that’s easy! I can just replace it with “beautiful!” But there are actually numerous different alternatives as well! 

Alternatives: beautiful, attractive, gorgeous, charming, exquisite. 

Example: Her necklace has such an exquisite design. 

  • Very scary 

There are many alternatives to “very scary”. Using one of these alternatives will make your sentence stronger.

Alternatives: horrifying, terrifying, ghastly, chilling 

Example: Both alternatives – that we are alone in the universe or that there are other living beings out there, are terrifying. 

  • Very shy 

Perhaps you have described yourself as “very shy”? Try these alternatives.

Alternatives: timid, bashful, demure, reserved. 

Example: Even though Jane is an actress, she’s actually quite reserved. 

  • Very happy 

Have you said “I feel very happy”? Try these alternatives. 

Alternatives: ecstatic, overjoyed, elated, euphoric, delighted. 

Example:  Nancy was ecstatic when she found out that she received the highest grade in the midterm exam. 

  • Very sad 

Likewise, have you ever said “I feel very sad?” Try these alternatives. 

Alternatives: dejected, melancholy, gloomy, blue. 

Example: The conversation left her feeling blue. 

  • Very neat 

Have you ever said “my room is very neat!? Try these alternatives. 

Alternatives: immaculate, orderly, spotless, well-kept 

Example: The bedrooms are all in orderly condition. 

  • Very difficult 

There are numerous alternatives to “very difficult” which can really drive your point across. 

Alternatives: arduous, challenging, laborious. 

Example: We wish him well in his arduous task. 

  • Very smart 

You might have heard someone say, “She is very smart!” As usual, there are plenty of other alternatives you can use while still conveying the same meaning, but with a stronger tone. 

Alternatives: bright, brilliant, resourceful, intelligent. 

Example: Her mother was a brilliant scientist. 

  • Very worried 

You can replace “very worried” with a couple of different words. 

Alternatives: distressed, distraught, perturbed, anxious. 

Example: She was deeply distressed by the news of the disappearances. 

  • Very good 

Want to emphasise just how “very good” something or someone is? Try these alternatives! 

Alternatives: excellent, remarkable, exceptional, exemplary. 

Example: The workmanship of this furniture is remarkable. 

  • Very kind 

You can replace “very kind” with a couple of different words. 

Alternatives: compassionate, tenderhearted, altruistic 

Example: We must be compassionate to all living beings. 

  • Very evil 

“Very evil” does not sound strong enough. Try replacing it with these alternatives. 

Alternatives: heinous, malevolent, vile, wicked. 

Example: The military response is grossly immoral and profoundly wicked.

  • Very tired

Feeling more than just a little sleepy? Express it with these words!

Alternatives: exhausted, fatigued, drained, worn out.

Example: After the marathon, Jenna was completely exhausted.

  • Very cold

When it’s more than just a chill in the air, describe it with these terms!

Alternatives: freezing, icy, frosty, frigid.

Example: The wind was so frigid, it cut right through my coat.

  • Very hungry

Is your stomach more than just a bit peckish? Use these words to describe that feeling!

Alternatives: famished, starving, ravenous, peckish.

Example: By lunchtime, we were all absolutely famished.

  • Very fast

When something is moving at more than a brisk pace, describe its speed with these words!

Alternatives: speedy, rapid, swift, quick.

Example: The cheetah is known for its rapid movement in the wild.

  • Very small

When “small” just doesn’t cut it, use these alternatives to emphasize tininess!

Alternatives: tiny, minuscule, petite, microscopic.

Example: The kitten was so tiny, it fit in the palm of my hand.

  • Very soft

When you want to describe something that’s more than just a little soft to the touch, use these words!

Alternatives: fluffy, plush, tender, velvety.

Example: The new blanket was so plush, it felt like a cloud.

  • Very hot

For those days when it’s more than just warm, describe the heat with these words!

Alternatives: scorching, boiling, sizzling, blistering.

Example: The pavement was so scorching, you could fry an egg on it!


As can be seen, there are A LOT of alternative words you can use in the place of “very …”. Try using these words often so it will come naturally to you. Got any more words that you want to know the alternatives of? Let us know and we will compile and write a new article about it!

Next steps 

Do you want to speak English with confidence?

Most people lack confidence when they speak English. They are afraid to make mistakes and are embarrassed to speak in front of others. 

This is because they have been taught English the wrong way!

Most English courses waste your time and money on useless exercises that don’t bring results. Even worse, they teach you bad habits that are very difficult to unlearn. 

As a result, you become confused and lack confidence. This is wrong!

At IELC, we teach English the right way

Our goal is to get you speaking in English with fluency and confidence as fast as possible. We want to give you the skills you need to fulfil your potential!

Our experienced teachers will guide you along every step of the learning process to ensure that you are not wasting your time, money, and energy on useless language exercises & wrong methods.

Our courses

With our modern campus and technology, we are equipped to provide the best possible courses for children, teens, and adults, including:

Online courses for kids

Online courses for teens

Online courses for adults

On campus courses for kids

On campus courses for teens 

On campus courses for adults

Online and on campus IELTS courses

Online and on campus TOEFL PBT courses

Online and on campus TOEFL iBT courses

We offer our classes in group classes or private classes.

No matter what your goals are, our team will help you achieve these goals by providing you with Indonesia’s best English courses!

Talk to our team today to get your FREE consultation and take your first step towards success.


Anthony McCormick,

IELC Managing Director