Quite

'Quite' is another common word in the English language. In this lesson, we will uncover all its secrets.

How To Use "Quite" in English?

'Quite' can be an adverb, a pre-determiner, and a pro-sentence. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Quite'

'Quite' as an Adverb

As stated above, 'quite' can function as an adverb. Below, we are going to learn all about it:

Use

'Quite' as an Adverb of Degree

Since 'quite' shows that something happens to an extent, it is an adverb of degree. Below, you will understand all about its different meanings as an adverb:

  • It means 'to some extent':

The look quite expensive.

Margherita quite enjoys reading a book by the beach.

  • When we want to show that something is in a condition to the greatest degree, we use it:

These two short stories are in fact quite similar to one another.

Pardon me, but I don't quite understand.

Mom and dad are quite eager to hear all about it.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'quite' is an adverb here, it mainly comes before adjectives or verbs and modifies them. Note that if we have an auxiliary verb, we must put it between the auxiliary verb and the main verb. Look at the following examples for more clarification:

That house looks quite big, though.

Here, we have 'quite' before an adjective.

I think I don't quite understand.

As you can see, 'quite' is put between the auxiliary and the main verb.

'Quite' as a Pre-determiner

Use

As stated above, 'quite' can also function as a pre-determiner. Below, we are going to examine some examples:

If you ask my opinion, it's quite a risk.

The governor just announced quite the opposite of what he had promised before.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'quite' is a pre-determiner here, it comes before determiners. Look below:

Hannah thinks it's quite a poisonous snake.

Jeremy looks like quite an arrogant boy.

'Quite' as a Pro-sentence

Use

As you know, pro-sentence are words than can function as complete sentences. In British English, when we want to show that we understand what someone is saying, we use 'quite' as a complete sentence. Look at the following examples:

A : It's not something one would easily forget about.

B : Quite.

A : Mom just doesn't seem to get it.

B : Quite.

Position in a Sentence

As it is clear, 'quite' replaces a complete sentence. It stands by itself. Sometimes we can add 'so' after it, but its meaning remains the same. Look below:

A : Jimmy thinks it's best we leave dad alone some time.

B : Quite so.

Idioms and Expressions with 'Quite'

We have some idioms and expressions with 'quite' about which we are going to learn below:

  • Quite a/some/the something: When we want to indicate that something/someone catches someone's eyes:

My sister's quite a stylish girl.

They thought it quite a risk to trust someone they have met for the first time.

  • Quite the contrary: When we want to state the opposite of what was mentioned before, we use this:

Quite the contrary, I personally believe that most Iranians are not really familiar with artistic music.

Quite the contrary, they all suggested that we not cancel tomorrow's class.

  • Quite a few: When something is in a large amount, we use this:

My daughter has been to Hyde Park quite a few times.

I thought you said you had travelled here quite a few times when you were younger.

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