Grammar: Qualifier

Posted December 27, 2014 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Grammar Explanations, Self-Editing, Writing

I tend to think of qualifiers as persuaders or a way to hedge around what might actually be possible.

In more proper grammar terms, the qualifier modifies the adverb or adjective it precedes.

Grammar Explanations is…

…an evolving list of the structural rules and principles that determines where words are placed in phrases or sentences as well as how the language is spoken. Sometimes I run across an example that helps explain better or another “also known as”. Heck, there’s always a better way to explain it, so if it makes quicker and/or better sense, I would appreciate suggestions and comments from anyone on an area of grammar with which you struggle or on which you can contribute more understanding.

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Qualifier
Definition: A word or phrase that precedes an adjective or adverb and changing the impression of the word it modifies (Richard Nordquist); Kathryn Elizabeth Etier.

A word or phrase, especially an adjective, used to attribute a quality to another word, especially a noun. (In systemic grammar) a word or phrase added after a noun to qualify its meaning.

Etier has a useful post on how qualifiers can make or break you as an expert. And suggests limiting them to the dialog in fiction.

List of Some Qualifiers
a bit
a good deal
a great deal
a handful
a little
a lot
a whole lot
a majority
a minority
almost
a small number
appears
basically
break
commonly
could
countless
doubtful
enough
essentially
even
fairly
few
for a long time
frequently
generally
great
hardly any
improbable
indeed
indicates
infrequently
just
kind of
least
less
likely
lots of
many
may
may be
may have
may have been
maybe
might
might have been
more
most
mostly
nearly
not all
not many
numerous
often
possibly
pretty
probably
quite
rarely
rather
really
repeatedly
seems
seldom
slightly
so
some
sometimes
somewhat
sort of
sporadically
still
suggests
that
too
unlikely
usually
various
very
virtually
well-
Example:
Legend:

  1. Green indicates the qualifier

She wanted that much money?

It was fairly new.

Did you really say that?

It’s quite unlikely that he’ll call.

Hey, dude, this is a great deal.

There’s hardly any leakage at all.

Maybe we can sneak out later.

There aren’t many of this type left.

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