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Native English speakers, could you please help me with these issues?
Is this sentence grammatically correct:
"What was the most major injury you have ever sustained?"
- ?Lv 62 months agoFavorite Answer
Unfortunately, "major" is one of those adjectives that doesn't do well with modifiers. A native speaker will never say "very major" or "seriously major". It's sort of like the adjective "pregnant". You either are or you're not. There's no such thing as being "a little bit pregnant". Nor can something be "a little bit major".
There are several English words that are like that. "Deadly" is another one of them. I'm sorry I can't provide you a rule-of-thumb to enable you to identify such words. You'll just have to stumble across them and learn the hard way.
So - instead of saying "most major injury" we could say "most serious injury". "Serious" can be modified in all sorts of ways. Or, if you didn't mind sounding a bit childish, you could make that sentence more compact by asking "What was the biggest injury you've ever had?" Such usage is very casual...it's something one kid would ask another...but it would be instantly understood by any native speaker. We know that "big" is normally reserved for descriptions of size, but in this context it would be taken by any native speaker to mean "the most significant". Ex "It was the biggest accident he had ever been called to." Equivalent to "the worst".
If you'd prefer to remain adult and more formal, "What was the most serious injury you've ever had?" would work very nicely. "What was the worst injury..." would be a bit more casual, but still effective. You could also say "What was the most significant injury..." but that begins to seem like you're making an effort to avoid any emotional aspect of what you're asking about. It's talking about an injury to your body as if it were an automobile fender...you see? Who asks if your headache is "significant"? It's overly-formal, to the point of being coldly clinical.
- OTTOLv 62 months ago
What was the worst injury you ever had?
- iansandLv 72 months ago
Most serious injury.