Learner-centered, inductive exercises: Example 1

In this exercise, students are supposed to retrieve and analyse corpus data themselves to find out typical collocations of adjectives with adverbs.

When writing in English, it is rather important that you do not use the same words and expressions over and over again, but that you have several options to express yourself at your disposal. This will make your text more reader-friendly, interesting and, above all, more idiomatic. In the following sentences, find out which other intensifying adverbs except "very" can be used with the boldfaced adjectives. Consulting an electronic corpus freely available on the web (e.g. for British English the British National Corpus, or for short: BNC)

  1. The report was very critical of the railway's poor safety record.
  2. This development proved very significant for the whole town.
  3. His poetry reflects the fact that he was a very religious person.
  4. Good thing you didn't come to the lecture today - it was very boring.

BYU-BNC Exercise 1