Exaggeration and Understatement

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Exaggeration and Understatement in English

We often use exaggeration and understatement in English to emphasise or downplay facts and emotions. For example:

It’s quite warm today, isn’t it? — Warm? It’s absolutely boiling! 

Practice: Match the lines 1-10 with a line from a-j. Use your dictionary to look up new words.

  1. I’m absolutely dying for a drink!
  2. His family are pretty well off, aren’t they?
  3. You must have hit the roof when she told you she’d crashed your car.
  4. I think Tony was a bit rude last night.
  5. I can’t stand the sight of him!
  6. He isn’t very bright, is he?
  7. I’m fed up with this weather! It’s freezing.
  8. Well, that was a fantastic holiday!
  9. I’m knackered. Can we stop for a rest?
  10. They’re obviously madly in love.

They do seem to get on quite well

  1. Yes, it was a nice little break, but all good things must come to an end.
  2. You’re not kidding. He’s as thick as two short planks.
  3. Yes, my throat’s a bit dry, I must say.
  4. Too right! He was totally out of order.
  5. I suppose it is a bit chilly.
  6. Yeah, they do seem to get on quite well.
  7. OK. I feel a bit out of breath too.
  8. Well, yes, I was a bit upset.
  9. You can say that again! They’re absolutely loaded.
  10. I must admit, I’m not too keen on him either.

Just a bit upset


Scroll down for answers!







1c – 2i – 3h – 4d – 5j – 6b – 7e – 8a – 9g – 10f

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