Learn Advanced Adjectives 3 Ways! English Vocabulary Skills

Lesson Overview

Lesson Summary 

There are lots of ways to learn English vocabulary. Today, you’ll learn 8 advanced adjectives and expand your descriptive language. Are you ready?

I also made you a flashcard memory game that will help you learn and memorise new English words ❤️

You can download it here: https://www.mmmenglish.com/flashcards

CLICK HERE to read the full lesson transcript.

Video Transcript
Section 1
Well hey there I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! Today I’m gonna be teaching and testing your knowledge of some advanced adjectives that will help you to describe the world around you in English.

And then I’m gonna show you a really fun flashcard memory game that will help you to learn and to memorise new vocabulary. I’ve also created a free downloadable PDF the link is in the description and it includes all of the flashcards for the vocabulary that you’ll be learning today. You can download it from the description below.

These flashcards are something that you can use at home with any words or phrases or even grammar points that you want to learn and you want to memorise.

So make sure you stick around because at the end of this lesson you’ll not only have ten fancy new adjectives to use, you’ll also have a great new tool for practising vocabulary and language.

So are you ready?


So first up, we’re gonna learn these new adjectives. And the adjectives that we’re looking at are extreme adjectives which means that we can use these adjectives instead of saying very, really or extremely with a regular adjective.

So instead of saying something is very bad, we can say that it’s appalling.


With all of these strong adjectives, you definitely want to know which syllable is the stressed syllable in each word so that you can emphasise it.

It’s appalling.

Can you hear me stressing that?

In extreme adjectives, this is such a useful tip for your pronunciation. So instead of saying

  • The weather this summer has been very bad.

We can do better than that.

We can say:

  • The weather this summer has been appalling.

Really bad.

Another thing you need to know about these adjectives is that they’re extreme, okay? The word appalling already explains that something is really bad or very bad, okay that’s why it’s called an extreme adjective.

So you cannot use the adverbs very, really, extremely together with an extreme adjective, okay? So don’t say: It’s been very appalling.

You can say:

  • It’s been very bad.
  • It’s been appalling.

Got it? Good.


Now when something is a surprise, or it’s very surprising, you can say it’s astonishing.


  • It’s astonishing to see how quickly they rebuilt the town after the earthquake.

A cool thing to learn with the adjective astonishing are some of the verbs that it’s commonly used with.

Astonishing to see…
Astonishing to think…
Astonishing to realise…

This adjective is very often used with the to-infinitive verb. It is so helpful, so helpful to pay attention to this kind of information when you’re learning new words so make a note of it on your flashcard or in your notebook:

often used with the to-infinitive verb.


Okay, so what about when something is extremely large in size? Large in size or amount or degree? Can you think of an adjective, an extreme adjective, that could work here?


  • They were under immense pressure to pass the exam.

Now it’s also possible to say:

  • They were under an immense amount of pressure to pass the exam.

Either way, we know that the pressure was high.


This next adjective describes something excellent or beautiful and impressive. It’s…


  • Well, that was a splendid afternoon! Thank you for inviting us.

It’s kind of a little posh, a little formal. But I love it, I use it all the time!


Our next adjective is…


This is gonna be a tricky one for some of you to say. Gruelling.

When something is gruelling, it’s extremely tiring and difficult, and it requires a lot of effort and determination.

  • To pass their final exam, they had to complete a gruelling 24 hour observation.


Do you know this adjective?


It can be used in a few different situations, you can use it to describe something that is extremely painful

  • The pain was excruciating. (Ouch!)

But it can also mean extremely boring or embarrassing so something can be so boring or so embarrassing that it’s actually painful, it feels painful to watch.

  • The presenter was excruciating to watch.

Now maybe they were just dull and boring to listen to but they could also be incredibly underprepared and it was embarrassing and awkward to watch him give his presentation and feel so uncomfortable.

I mean you can also say in this same context that something was painful to watch, excruciating to watch, painful to watch.


When a person is very careful and does things with a great attention to detail, we can describe them as…


Can you hear that stress? Meticulous.

  • We were impressed by the meticulous research Sarah had done to prove her theory.

So this was very careful, very detailed research.


Now the last adjective I want to share today is


This means perfect or really well done. And we use it when something is perfect without any problems at all.

  • Her performance was impeccable.

We also often say that someone’s behaviour was impeccable.


Okay so now we’ve learnt some new extreme adjectives, let’s test what you know and lock them into your memory.

So this is something that you can definitely do with flashcards at home, you can either pick up a card read the word and try and remember what it means or you can easily work backwards and you can look at the definition and then try to remember the word.

As you get more familiar with the word, you know keep putting them to the back of the pack you know, so they come up less frequently and once you feel a hundred per cent confident with how to use that word and what it means, put it in a separate pile and maybe come back to it at the end of the week or later, a few days later and test yourself. This is gonna help to retain that knowledge, that word, that expression in your head.


In this quick quiz now, I’m gonna show you the definition and I want you to try and remember and tell me what is the correct adjective.

Alright? Like this.


1. Do you remember which adjective means extremely tiring and difficult and demanding great attention and determination

Yes, that’s right! It’s gruelling.


2. Which adjective describes something that is extremely large in size or degree?

Immense. Yes.


3. Moving on, we’ve got this one here. How do we describe something that is perfect with no problems or bad parts?

It starts with I. Yes! Impeccable.


4. Next up. Something that is very bad is…

Appalling. That’s right, maybe you can think of some others but we’re looking for appalling.


5. Do you know what the adjective is? Something excellent, beautiful and impressive is?



6. How about this one? When something is very surprising, it’s…

Astonishing. Correct!


7. Just two more to go now. When a person is very careful and they do something with great attention to detail, they are…

Meticulous. You’re right!


8. And the last one? An adjective that means extremely painful, boring or embarrassing.

Excruciating. That’s it!


Did you get them all?

I hope so but don’t go anywhere just yet! I’m gonna test how well you can use these adjectives correctly in a sentence now.


So this time I’m gonna give you the sentence and I want you to complete the sentence with the correct adjective, one of the ones that we’ve just learned, just like this. Now as always, I’m gonna give you a few seconds to think before telling you the answer. In this case: The weather’s been very bad.

  • The weather’s been appalling this summer.

But if that weather was actually perfect all summer, then you could also say that: the weather this summer has been impeccable.

So there’s always more than one option but let’s try and remember and use the ones that we’ve just learnt.

Are you ready to try it out? Let’s go.


Her English is ______________ I’ve never heard her make a mistake.

It’s perfect! Her English is impeccable.


To pass the test, they had to complete a ______________ obstacle course in the pouring rain. It was tough and not everyone made it through.

So it was very hard. To pass the test, they needed to complete a  gruelling obstacle course in the pouring rain.


The presentation about gas prices was ______________ to watch. I’ve never been so bored in my life.

It was excruciating to watch!


It’s ______________ to see how quickly they rebuilt the town after the earthquake.

It’s astonishing to see how quickly they rebuilt the town after the earthquake.


We were impressed by the ______________ research Sarah had done to prove her theory. It was so detailed.

We were impressed by the meticulous research.


He had dressed up for the occasion and looked ______________ in a tailor-made wool suit and shiny leather shoes.

He looked splendid in his wool suit. Now it could also be impeccable if we wanted to say that he looked perfect.


They were under ______________ pressure to pass the exam, the results could change their lives forever!

They were under immense pressure to pass the exam.


So that’s it!

You’ve done an amazing job to get all the way through to the end. You’ve just learned a new bunch of adjectives that you can use to describe the world around you in English which is awesome.

But you’ve also practised them in multiple ways to help make sure that those words stick in your mind.

Don’t forget to download your free flashcards to practise with me. The link is down in the description below. And remember that you can recreate this same activity using flashcards with any other words and phrases that you want to learn.

So I hope you had fun and I hope that you enjoy those flashcards I made and that they help you to stick those words in your mind. If you’d like to see more lessons just like this one let me know down in the comments below.

You can keep practising with me right here, right now in this lesson right here.

I’ll see you in there!

Links mentioned in the video

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