- A gradable antonym is a type of "opposite" adjective where the words are on a scale with others in between and ungradable antonyms beyond.
- Examples : Hot /cold - which are on a scale of eg : freezing - cold - cool - warm - hot - boiling.
- Negating a gradable adjective does not necessarily mean its opposite - eg "not hot" isn't necessarily "cold" .
- Gradable adjectives can be used in the comparative and superlative, whilst the extreme (ungradable) adjectives (those at the ends of the scales) cannot :
I think it's hotter today than yesterday but not *I think it's more boiling today than yesterday.
- Gradable adjectives can be intensified by adverbs such as extremely, a bit, quite but not by eg totally, completely, absolutely. The ungradable adjectives at the end of the scale (here freezing/boiling) are the opposite :
It was absolutely freezing but not *It was very freezing