American English

Definition of very adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1used before adjectives, adverbs, and determiners to mean “in a high degree” or “extremely” very small very quickly Very few people know that. Thanks very much. “Do you like it?” “Yeah, I do.Very much.” “Is it what you expected?” “Oh yes,very much so.” “Are you busy?” “Not very.” The new building has been very much admired. I'm not very (= not at all) impressed. I'm very very grateful.
  2. 2used to emphasize a superlative adjective or before own They wanted the very best quality. Be there by six at the very latest. He finally got his very own car (= belonging to him and to no one else).
  3. 3the very same exactly the same Mario said the very same thing.
  4. 4very good/well (formal) used to say that you agree to something or give your permission, usually unwillingly Very good - we'll meet at 8:00. Very well. Stay out as late as you want.
Grammarvery / very muchVery is used with adjectives, past participles used as adjectives, and adverbs:I am very hungry. I was very happy to get your letter. You played very well.But notice this use:I’m very much afraid that your son may be involved in the crime.Very is not used with past participles that have a passive meaning. Much, very much, or greatly (all formal) are usually used instead:Your help was very much appreciated. He was much loved by everyone. She was greatly admired.Very is used to emphasize superlative adjectives:my very best work the very youngest students. However, with comparative adjectives, much, very much, a lot, etc. are used:Your work is a lot better. much younger studentsVery is not used with adjectives and adverbs that already have an extreme meaning. You are more likely to use an adverb such as absolutely, completely, etc:She was absolutely furious. I’m completely exhausted. You played really flawlessly.Very is not used with verbs. Use very much instead:We enjoyed staying with you very much.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: very