food is 'quite' good

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Senior Member
"The food in the cafeteria is usually quite good."
(Longman dictionary)

How confusing is this word!
How can you understand what it means in different sentences?!
It means "completely", "very, but not extremely", "to a small extent"...

For example in the sentence above, how can you understand that it doesn't mean " to a small extent"?

In the next post, I will put longman's definitions.
  • Hildy1

    Senior Member
    English - US and Canada
    I would take it to mean that the food is usually as good as one could reasonably expect. You can't normally expect a cafeteria to serve superb food.

    Pauline Meryle

    Senior Member
    English UK
    You could say that the food in a top restaurant was "quite extraordinary", meaning unusually good.

    The adjective that follows tends to give a clue, as here. "Quite good" never means extremely good.
    Last edited:


    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I agree with Hildy1.
    I think it's Longman's "very, but not extremely" meaning.

    The meaning of quite is sometimes different, depending on the variety of English. See this thread.
    AE/BE "quite" That was quite good.
    Don't feel bad if you aren't always certain what is meant by 'quite'. Sometimes native speakers aren't sure either. When that happens, we have to ask. ;)



    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    In this context, "quite" means very to me. If someone told me that the food at a restaurant was "quite good", I would take that as a recommendation. It's not in a class with "excellent" but it's better than "pretty good" and a great deal better than "okay".
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