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2 very important
3 saying that sth is important
- having value or interest; necessary: important; noun (U): importance
an important meeting/decision/idea ◎ It's important not to make any mistakes here. ◎ It's very important that you arrive on time. ◎ I don't think she properly understood the importance of the occasion. ◎ This problem is of secondary importance (= less important than sth else) .
- interesting or important; deserving to be noticed: significant; noun (U): significance
It's significant that this has already happened three times before. ◎ The fact that both crimes were committed at night is significant.
- famous or important in history: historic
a historic event
- important because of having a high position or rank: senior
a senior official
- important because of having power: influential
an influential person in the art world
- important because of being famous: prominent
- important because of being successful in your job: leading
a leading cancer specialist
- needing to be treated as important: serious (adverb seriously); noun (U): seriousness
This is a very serious problem. ◎ Don't laugh - this is serious. ◎ Why can't you ever take anything seriously?
- treating sth as important; not joking: serious
Are you serious about going to Paris?
- to be important: matter
You're happy now and that's all that really matters. ◎ 'I'm so sorry I missed the meeting.' 'It doesn't matter.'
- if sth is important to you, it concerns you, means* sth to you, matters to you, (formal) is of concern to you
I'm not bothered - her problems don't concern me at all. ◎ It doesn't matter to me what she decides to do. ◎ I don't know what I'd do without my children - they mean everything to me.
2 very important
- very important: big, major, considerable
a big contract/opportunity ◎ major investments
- absolutely necessary: essential, crucial (adverb crucially), vital (adverb vitally)
These days a degree is essential if you want to work for this company. ◎ It's crucial that you get there on time - otherwise you'll miss the whole concert. ◎ It's vitally important that you see a doctor.
- important and needing to be done immediately: urgent (adverb urgently); noun (U): urgency
Sorry, can I use your phone? I've got an urgent call to make. ◎ We are urgently reconsidering the matter.
※ more on being necessary NEED
※ most important
- something that is very important and that you must do before anything else: priority
Finding a place to live is a priority at the moment.
- most important: main, principal, chief
My main problem is that I haven't got any money. ◎ The principal aim of this meeting is to solve staffing problems. ◎ His chief reason for leaving was ill-health.
- mostly: mainly, principally, chiefly
I was mainly responsible for writing our publicity material.
- first and most important: primary (adverb primarily), basic (adverb basically), fundamental (adverb fundamentally)
The primary cause of this problem is lack of money. ◎ The basic ingredients are flour, eggs and milk. ◎ Fundamentally, this is an environmental issue.
- the most important quality of sth: essence (of sth) (noun U)
The essence of her argument was that we should be putting more money into education.
- the starting point from which sth can develop: basis
The article on page 22 will form the basis of our discussion.
- basic facts or principles: fundamentals (noun plural)
You need to understand the fundamentals of a subject like maths before you can study it at a higher level.
- the most important things: essentials (noun plural)
Just bring the essentials - a toothbrush and a change of clothes.
- to be more important than sb/sth: come* before sb/sth
My children come before everything.
3 saying that sth is important
- to show by what you say or do that sth is important: emphasize sth, stress sth; nouns: emphasis, stress
I must emphasize that we will not tolerate lateness. ◎ I would like to stress three points in my talk today. ◎ They put a lot of emphasis on spoken English in that school.
- to tell or show sb that you think sth is very important: impress sth on sb
I tried to impress on them the fact that we expect very high standards here.
- to give emphasis to sth, you can say particularly, especially, in particular, more/most importantly, notably
My children, in particular the eldest one, are all good swimmers. ◎ How are we going to be able to afford the rent? And, more importantly, how will we feed the children? ◎ Some Prime Ministers, notably John Major, were reluctant to sign the agreement.
- to a much greater degree than all the others: most of all, above all (else)
I want you to work hard, but most of all, I want you to have fun. ◎ It's my family that matters above all.
- if you want people to know that sth you mention is just as important as the things mentioned before, you can say last but not least
Jane, Jackie, Susan, John, and last but not least, Bob.
- if you have been laughing and you want to explain that what you are going to say next is not a joke but is serious, you can begin with in all seriousness ※¦joking apart ※¦
In all seriousness, you're not going out in that old dress, surely? ◎ Joking apart, do you really think that?
- a subject or incident that you should not joke about because it is serious is no laughing matter, no joke
This is no joke, you know!
- when sth needs to be treated more seriously, it is beyond a joke
This situation has got beyond a joke.
- not having any importance: unimportant
an unimportant person/event
- very unimportant: insignificant, trivial
Don't bother with such insignificant details. ◎ a trivial mistake
- small, not having much importance: minor, negligible
That's just a minor problem. ◎ The damage done was negligible.
- if you want to say that sth is not very important, you can use the words mere (only before a noun) (adverb merely), simple (only before a noun) (adverb simply), just, only
A mere 2% of the population is unemployed in that country. ◎ a simple mistake ◎ It's just a minor error - don't worry about it. ◎ Sorry, I was only asking.
- to become less important: decline; noun (U): decline
the declining influence of the Communist Party ◎ the decline of the coal industry
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