a quite well-known

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meero

Member
Arabic - Egyptian
Hello everyone,
I looked up the dictionary for the proper meaning for the word 'quite' in the following context, but I then found my self confused between two possible apparently-contrasted meanings.

'I had a regular spot in the Broadoak Hotel in Ashton under Lyne playing three or four numbers in the interval every other Wednesday when a quite well-known band called The Fivepenny Piece was playing.

1-what is the likely proper meaning of the following, as both are mentioned in the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 8th Edition!!
a. (BrE) (not used with a negative) to some degree. Syn: pretty
b. (BrE) to the greatest possible degree. Syn:completely
2-Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English suggests the following pattern for using the adverb 'quite':
quite a something
He’s quite a good soccer player.
which is different from the way the writer used the same adverb: 'a quite well-known band'; so is the writer using it the wrong way?

Source: 'How to Persuade & Influence people' by Philip Hesketh. British by the way.
Thank you in Advance.
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I understand "quite" to mean "very", meero. Perhaps some British members will understand it differently, but I think most Americans would use it as a synonym for "very".
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I would put it, in this context, as a descriptor a little below "very well-known" and well above "not very well-known" - quite in this case meaning "moderately". (Now I see the dictionaries include "to a degree" and "moderately"). Those are perhaps more BrE?

    It can also mean mean very, completely. It's versatile :(
    Owlman is familiar with the common US meaning of very (overlapping with completely, absolutely)

    From the freedictionary

    1. To the greatest extent; completely: quite alone; not quite finished.
    2. Actually; really: I'm quite positive about it.
    3. To a degree; rather: quite soon; quite tasty. ("She's quite pretty" is not always a compliment!!)
     

    meero

    Member
    Arabic - Egyptian
    I assume that using the 'indefinite article + quite + called' suggests that the writer is introducing something that he thinks the reader may not be familiar with; otherwise he would have used the definite article. What do you think?
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    The indefinite article puts the emphasis on "one of many quite well-known bands" whose name happens to be "The fivepenny piece". The definite article would have put the emphasis on "The band called "The fivepenny piece" which happens to be quite well-known"
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Black Cat are a quite well-known band – somewhat well-known (I don’t expect everyone to know them)
    Black Cat are quite a well-known band – a very well-known band (I’m surprised you haven’t heard of them.)
    He is quite a good football player – He plays very well
    He is a quite good football player – He plays fairly well, a little better than average.

    He’s quite the football player – he gives every impression of being a football player.

    Quite! He is the football player – [annoyance] I said he was the football player, did you not hear?
     

    meero

    Member
    Arabic - Egyptian
    Thank you every one. Special thanks to PaulQ.
    I really wish all English was only American; British is unnecessarily complicated.
    Like (as in FB)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Thank you every one. Special thanks to PaulQ.
    I really wish all English was only American; British is unnecessarily complicated.
    Like (as in FB)
    I don't know what your problem is - after 60+ years, I find it very simple :D
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)

    peptidoglycan

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Er...yes, that's what it seems to mean literally. However, a British speaker would probably be using this with what is known as "British understatement", in which case it would mean "He's a really good player". This can be very confusing.
    I think, in order to mean "He's a really good player", it's necessary to say "He's a quite good player." And "a quite adjective noun" version is more natural if the adjective is non-gradable.
     
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