I'm looking for lists of words/phrases of degree, ordered by how strong they are relative to each other.

For an example in English, I ran across this research recently: http://www.businessinsider.com/quantitative-perceptions-of-probability-words-2017-5

I was wondering if there are any similar lists for:

  1. Degree... わずか < なかなか < とっても etc
  2. Amount... すこし < そこばく < たくさん etc
  3. Frequency... めったに < よく < しょっちゅう < いつも etc
  4. Severity/strength... やんわり < つよく < たいへん etc
  5. Surety... たしか < きっと < ひつぜん etc

By the way, I see a lot of questions about pairs of words on this list, i.e. "is this word more or less on the degree scale than this"... so if a good answer can be found that has a bunch of examples hierarchicalized, it might answer a lot of future questions all at once. 一石無限鳥 :-)

1 Answer 1


Degree... わずか < なかなか < とっても etc

As for the degree of temperature, we say like 少{すこ}し暑{あつ}い / 少{すこ}し寒{さむ}い for it's hot a little / it's cold a little.

Adverbs to describe the degeree of hotness/coldness are like:
わずかに < ほんの少し ≒ 気持{きも}ち < ちょっと ≒ 少し < 大分{だいぶ} ≒ なかなか < いい加減{かげん}(に) ≒ 相当{そうとう}(に) ≒ かなり < すごく ≒ とても/とっても ≒ うんと < 無茶{むちゃ}苦茶{くちゃ}(に) < 死{し}にそうに

Hierarchicalized adverbs written in the above list could be applied commonly to express the degree of amount, frequency, severity/strength and surety except for some adverbs. The typical exception is 死にそうに, that is used only in severity or in something like that.

Amount... すこし < そこばく?(← obsolete word) かなり < たくさん etc
Frequency... めったに < よく < しょっちゅう < いつも etc
Severity/strength... やんわり? < つよく? < たいへん etc
Surety... たしか? < きっと < ひつぜん? 確実{かくじつ}(に)絶対{ぜったい}(に) etc

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .