A question about quite often

Sergey2020

New Member
Russian
Hi, could you please clarify what the word quite means in combination with often
Quite often = fairly often?
Quite often = very often?
Quite often = usually?
Thanks for help.
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Can you give us a sample sentence including it, please, as I suspect the answer might depend on how you intend using it. ;)
     

    Sergey2020

    New Member
    Russian
    Sure.
    Sometimes he took his dog with him when he felt lonely and quite often he first popped into a bistro to set himself up for a day.
     

    Xyz123456

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    English has thousands of phrases which rely very much on the context. "Quite often" is one of those phrases in English that can be used to subtly reprimand someone or to complain without sounding too negative etc.

    So although it normally means "Fairly regularly" it can also be used in a sentence such as "I don't mean to complain, but you do make this mistake quite often" which actually translates as "You're really getting on my nerves now- you make the same mistake all the time!" In fact we do this with any phrase using "quite"- someone in a loud pub might say "It's quite noisy in here" which generally means it's louder than a football stadium. "He's quite rude" means he's an absolute pig. Etc :)

    Especially in the UK, where complaining in public is still regarded as a social minefield.

    But in normal circumstances it usually just means "more than average". So "quite often" usually means "it happens more frequently [than other unspecified events]". So "I see my brother quite often" can mean "I see my brother more than I see other members of my family".

    It completely depends on the context of the rest of the sentence or conversation.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Sometimes he took his dog with him when he felt lonely and quite often he first popped into a bistro to set himself up for a day.

    It's a little vague, so I don't know whether that means "on the occasions when he took his dog with him, he often popped into a bistro first (before taking the dog for a walk)", or whether "he sometimes took his dog with him - but rather more often he used to pop into a bistro first (before doing something else).

    In this context I'd say that "quite often" is more often than "sometimes", but less often than "very often:D.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Sure.
    Sometimes he took his dog with him when he felt lonely and quite often he first popped into a bistro to set himself up for a day.
    The sequence of clauses in the sentence suggests that "quite often" occurs less often than "sometimes".
    Sometimes he took his dog with him
    On some of those occasions (quite often), he popped into a bistro first (before taking his dog with him).​

    ...However, I see that velisarius has a different interpretation of this rather tricky sentence. :)
     
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