Did you enjoy your breakfast, and was it tasty or very tasty? Maybe it was delicious. Is it grammatically correct to say, “I had an absolutely delicious breakfast,” or should it be, “I had a very delicious breakfast”?
“Absolutely delicious” is a grammatically correct phrase to use. Intensifying adverbs like “absolutely” are appropriate for strong adjectives like “delicious,” which is otherwise non-gradable. Typically, we use this phrase to emphasize how much we enjoy something, but “absolutely” can be a standalone phrase itself.
In this article, we’ll explore the phrase “absolutely delicious,” as well as how and when to use it, reasons why it’s acceptable to say one way or another, and what to use in place of it. We’ll also teach you what you need to know to use the phrase in a grammatically correct way.
What Does “Absolutely Delicious” Mean?
“Absolutely delicious” means a taste that is pleasing to our senses at the highest level.
If we look at the individual components that make up this phrase, we will better understand its definition.
“Absolutely” is an adverb that means “without any doubt” or “in an absolute manner,” but it can also mean “completely,” “totally,” or “utterly” (source).
Delicious means “appealing, pleasing, or enjoyable to a bodily sense, typically taste or smell” (source).
So, when we pair “absolutely” with “delicious” in a sentence, we are proclaiming the taste is at its highest level of enjoyment, without question or doubt.
Is It Grammatically Correct to Say “Absolutely Delicious”?
Absolutely! It is grammatically correct to say “absolutely delicious.” Using the intensifier “absolutely” to modify the non-gradable, extreme adjective “delicious” creates a handy phrase to use if we want to emphasize the degree or intensity of taste.
The Adverb “Absolutely”
As an adverb, “absolutely” modifies the strong adjective “delicious” to express or intensify the degree of taste. Adverbs are words we use to modify an adjective, a verb, or another adverb (source). They express manner, frequency, place, or time in a sentence.
- The woman was absolutely beautiful.
In this sentence, “absolutely” modifies the adjective “beautiful” to emphasize how pretty the woman is.
- The man was extremely hungry after his run.
In this sentence, “extremely” modifies the adjective “hungry” to emphasize just how hungry the man is.
“Absolutely” is also an intensifier, meaning it modifies adjectives to make them weaker or stronger. Grammarians refer to these as adverbs of degree, which specify the level or degree of intensity of the adjective they are modifying.
Want to learn more about the adverb “absolutely”? Check out the article: “Is it Correct to Say Absolutely Beautiful?”
The Adjective “Delicious”
Delicious is an adjective that means “appealing,” “very pleasing,” or “enjoyable to a bodily sense,” typically taste or smell. In the case of “absolutely delicious,” “absolutely” denotes the adjective “delicious” is the pinnacle of its definition.
Adjectives make our language more expressive. They are words that describe the quality of something, many of which are measurable to a degree, such as temperature, appearance, or size (source).
Some qualities can differ in their measurable intensity or grade (gradable adjectives), while others cannot (non-gradable adjectives).
Gradable adjectives are measurable to some degree or level. For example, “hot” and “cold” are gradable adjectives because they indicate changes in temperature and can vary in grade.
If something is hot, it can be hot, hotter, very hot, or the hottest. If something is cold, it can be cold, colder, very cold, or the coldest.
We modify gradable adjectives with gradable adverbs like “fairly,” “slightly,” “very,” “really,” and “extremely.”
- The giraffe was really tall.
- The mouse was extremely small.
Non-gradable adjectives cannot differ in their level of intensity or grade because they indicate an absolute state or degree. “Boiling” and “freezing” are non-gradable adjectives because they depict temperature extremes or limits (source).
Adjectives that are non-gradable or “extreme” already have strong enough meanings without an adverb to emphasize their intensity or grade.
A few examples of non-gradable adjectives:
- Delicious = very/extremely + tasty
- Delighted = very/extremely + pleased
- Exhausted = very/extremely + tired
- Soaked = very/extremely + wet
More often than not, non-gradable adjectives mean “very/extremely + adjective.” Because extreme adjectives have “very” in their meaning, there’s no need to use the adverb “very” to modify them.
If you want to describe food as “very tasty,” you can describe it as “delicious” but not “very delicious.” Describing food as “very delicious” is redundant and sounds unnatural as you would ultimately be saying your food is “very extremely delicious.”
Instead, if you want to emphasize a quality’s extreme grade or level, you can use non-gradable adverbs — e.g., “absolutely,” “totally,” “utterly,” “completely” — to intensify or strengthen non-gradable adjectives.
Incorrect: The food was very delicious.
Correct: The food was absolutely delicious.
Incorrect: The dog was very soaked after his swim.
Correct: The dog was totally soaked after his swim.
Incorrect: I was very delighted to see you.
Correct: I was utterly delighted to see you.
Incorrect: He was very exhausted after work.
Correct: He was completely exhausted after work.
In the case of “absolutely delicious, “absolutely” as a non-gradable adverb is an intensifier describing the utmost degree of deliciousness a food can have.
How Do You Use “Absolutely Delicious”?
We may use the phrase “absolutely delicious” in a sentence when we want to describe the enjoyable taste of our food. To do this, we need a linking verb (e.g., “is,” “was,” “has,” “were”) to connect the subject with the predicate adjective.
Using “Absolutely Delicious” in a Full Sentence
For example, using “absolutely delicious” after a linking verb in a sentence will connect the subject to information that describes the sentence’s subject (predicate).
- Our lunch was absolutely delicious.
- The cream puffs were absolutely delicious.
- The restaurants’ food is absolutely delicious.
In these sentences, the linking verbs “was,” “were,” and “is” connect the subject to parts of the sentence that describe what the subject is, has been, or seems to be.
When Can You Use “Absolutely Delicious”?
“Absolutely delicious” is a common phrase we use to emphasize how much we enjoy something. You can use this phrase if you feel a particular food brings you the highest level of taste we enjoy.
You can also use the phrase as a standalone statement to answer a question. For instance, if someone were to ask, “How was your dinner?” you can respond with, “Absolutely delicious!”
In What Context Can You Use “Absolutely Delicious”?
We use “absolutely delicious” in contexts when we want to emphasize a taste we enjoy, affirming it’s the highest level of taste without any doubt. This setting can be in a restaurant, at home, or wherever you enjoy your favorite meal.
That said, sometimes we use the word “absolutely” negatively, such as when someone wants to say that they don’t like something without being too direct. For example, you might say, “I don’t like this cake; it’s absolutely terrible.”
There are times when we use the word “absolutely” to respond to a question positively. For example, if someone asks, “Do you have a pen I can borrow?” you might interject with, “Absolutely!”
Is “Absolutely Good” a Response?
Technically, “absolutely good” is a response, but it’s incorrect since “good” is a weak adjective. “Absolutely good” is not a common interjection.
People frequently use adjectives like “beautiful” or “brilliant” after the word “absolutely,” but we rarely hear someone say, “I am absolutely good.” It is more common to hear, “Perfectly good,” which also uses a weak adjective with the wrong intensifier.
In most instances, “perfectly good” is distinct from “absolutely good” because “perfectly good” is often an exaggerated way to suggest something is “good enough.”
- The banana is perfectly good to eat.
- The banana is absolutely good to eat.
When we look at these two statements, “perfectly good to eat” could mean the banana has imperfections, but it’s still good enough to eat. It doesn’t sound too appetizing, does it?
Now, a banana that is “absolutely good to eat” could mean the banana is without flaws. This sounds way more appealing.
As a result, you’d only want to say something is absolutely good if there’s no way of it being bad.
If you need more information about using “absolutely” with weak or strong adjectives, check out the article “Is it Correct to Say Absolutely True.”
Why Do People Say “Absolutely” Instead of “Yes”?
If someone asks, “Do you want to go out for dinner?” and you answer with a “yes,” it may seem like a lack of enthusiasm or commitment. However, if your response is an enthusiastic “Absolutely!” it shows that this is something that excites you.
It’s common for people to use the word “absolutely” instead of “yes” when answering a question. However, it’s important to remember that while people don’t always use the words correctly, they’re often aware of the distinction.
When Not to Use “Absolutely Delicious”
Do not use it if you don’t enjoy the thing you are describing. Remember, tone matters. So, if you feel the food was “good” tasting, saying “absolutely delicious” may sound sarcastic.
When it comes to using the phrase “absolutely delicious,” it’s best to use it when you’re sure of your feelings.
You should not use “absolutely delicious” as a standalone statement unless you are enthusiastically responding to a question that pertains to food or drink. If you’re not absolutely certain about the phrase, there are other options to choose from.
What Can You Use Instead of “Absolutely Delicious”?
We use the adverb “absolutely” to emphasize “delicious,” but it’s not the only adverb we can use to emphasize an adjective.
If we want to emphasize the adjective “delicious,” we can use other intensifiers like “completely,” “utterly,” and “totally” to convey the same message.
- The meal he prepared was utterly delicious.
- That piece of pie was totally delicious!
If you want to use an intensifier to emphasize the word “delicious,” you can use a synonym of “absolutely” to convey the same message.
- The meal he prepared was scrumptious.
- That piece of pie was heavenly!
Adverbs of Degree
Adverbs of degree, or degree adverbs, are words we use to provide details about the adjectives’ intensity, degree, or magnitude (source). They are very useful for giving more information about the adjective or adverb they modify.
Degree adverbs show how much something is or how little something is, and the degree or intensity of the word they modify can be mild, medium, strong, or absolute. There are two types of degree adverbs: grading and non-grading.
Grading adverbs have degrees of strength — namely, mild, medium, and strong — that describe the strength or level of a quality the adjective is describing. Typically, we use a grading adverb with a gradable adjective.
A grading adverb modifies (strengthens or weakens) the quality of an adjective. For example, an apple can be big or small. In this instance, big and small are the gradable adjectives describing the size of the apple.
If you want to change the degree of gradable adjectives, you can use the adverb degree “very.” This changes a big or small apple to a very big apple or a very small apple, both of which may better describe the size of your apple.
Other examples of gradable adverbs modifying gradable adjectives:
- The soup was very hot.
- The road was pretty icy.
- She was really happy.
A non-grading adverb intensifies an adjective to depict the absolute state or highest degree of the adjectives’ quality. Typically, we use non-grading adverbs with extreme adjectives, which we also know as non-gradable adjectives.
We do not use “very” to modify extreme adjectives because they contain “very” as part of their meaning (e.g., very + adjective). For example:
- Gorgeous = very + beautiful
- Furious = very + angry
- Hilarious = very + funny
- Starving = very + hungry
Instead of using a grading adverb like “very,” we use non-grading adverbs to depict the absolute state of the extreme adjective. Some of the most common non-grading adverbs are “absolutely,” “completely,” “utterly,” and “totally.”
- The food was absolutely delicious.
- My ice cream was completely frozen.
- We were totally lost at the fair.
- I was utterly exhausted after my run.
If you want to describe the taste of your food, “very tasty” is acceptable, but “very delicious” is grammatically incorrect as “delicious” is the extreme adjective for “very tasty.” This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
Instead, we intensify or emphasize the quality of the adjective “delicious” with a non-grading adverb like “absolutely,” which is a grammatically correct phrase.
“Absolutely delicious” is a common phrase we use to describe how much we enjoy the taste of our food. Although “delicious” is an extreme or non-gradable adjective, using “absolutely” emphasizes the intensity or grade of the taste level.
It is correct to use the phrase “absolutely delicious” to emphasize that the level of taste is an absolute or the highest level of taste without a doubt.
We often use the word “absolutely” in a positive way, such as when we want to say that we like something a lot. For example, you might say, “I enjoy this cake; it’s absolutely delicious.”
Now that you understand how and when to use “absolutely delicious,” you can easily form grammatically correct sentences using the phrase.