What does "pretty" mean here? And can I place the word "pretty" anywhere in the sentence?
Excellent question. "Pretty" here is being used as an intensifier. This means that it is placed directly in front of adjectives or adverbs to add to their meaning. It is being used to modify the meaning of the adverb or adjective. "Pretty" weakens the adverbs or adjectives that it modifies. It tells you that the quality described by the adverb or adjective is present, but only to a limited extent. The meaning of "pretty" here is similar to the meaning of another intensifier: somewhat or fairly. With that in mind, "pretty" can only be used in the place of an intensifier in this sentence. Which means it cannot be moved to anywhere else in this sentence. Ex: It’s a pretty common disease. Ex: The movie was pretty good but not great. Ex: I have to leave pretty soon.
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