A qualifier is a word that limits or enhances another word’s meaning. Qualifiers affect the certainty and specificity of a statement. Overusing certain types of qualifiers (for example, very or really) can make a piece of writing sound lazily constructed.
How Qualifiers Change Sentences
In a given sentence, the aspect being modified, or further defined, might have to do with magnitude:
In the second and third sentences, somewhat and most qualify intelligent. Qualifiers can also be used to specify time.
The qualifiers sometimes, always, and usually greatly changed the meaning of the sentence in the example above. Qualifiers can also specify relative quality.
All these qualifiers provide further information about the pasta dish and give us insight into the author’s impressions about it.
The Danger of Overusing Certain Qualifiers
It is best not to use some qualifiers too much. These are the modifiers your English teacher dreaded seeing in great quantities, such as very, too, really, and sort of. When you use overuse these words, your writing will seem lazy, as if you haven’t taken the time to look for the “just right” word to describe what you mean.