I found out 'every bit' is similar expression to 'entirely' while reading through another post put up on here.

So in this line (from the movie 'Dead poets society' Source:Yarn Clips):

"It's every bit as tough as they say unless you're genius like Meeks."

Does "every bit" function as an adverb which modifies 'It's as tough as ~"?


It = Subject AND 's every bit as tough as they say = Predicate consisting of:

  • 's = Verb
  • every bit as tough as they say = Predicative Complement

Every bit is an idiom which means

quite; just; equally (used in comparisons with as)

  • every bit as funny as the other show (Collins)

In your sentence, every bit is a Noun Phrase, being part of the Predicative Complement ("every bit as tough as they say"). The NP every bit is functioning as a modifier of the adjective "tough", answering to the question "how tough?". Within this NP, every is an adjective which functions as a determinative of the noun bit.

As the phrase does not contain any adverb, it cannot be an adverb phrase, although:

  1. it carries a meaning which could be expressed by an adverb


  1. it modifies an adjective in the way an adverb could modify it.

It can, however, be replaced by an adverb:

It's equally/comparably as tough as they say unless you're genius like Meeks.

Note that every bit is informal. (Free Dictionary)


No, it is not. You have there a very complex adjectival phrase. An adverb and a verb can become a compound adjec, but it does not here.

  • Then what would 'every bit' in this sentence function as? Could you give me more explanations? – Jin Aug 8 '19 at 10:30

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