the meaning of the word 'quite'

Discussion in 'English Only' started by thuong2vn, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. thuong2vn New Member

    I don't understand the role of the word quite in this sentence:"quite often Laura heard the ringing thud of an ax.." Is the word 'quite" an adverb?can you explain more detail about the meaning of this word in this sent.?thanks a lot
  2. InaudibleMelody

    InaudibleMelody Member

    Argentine - Spanish
    In the sentence "Quite" works as an adverb and means "very"

    "Quite often" = "Very often"
  3. coquis14

    coquis14 Senior Member

    Entre Macrilandia/Chamamélandia
    Español ,Argentina

    I'm not a native but the word's putting more emphasis on the action , the event is happening very often not just once in a while.According to the dictionary , it is as an adverb.

  4. unspecified

    unspecified Senior Member

    Boston, MA, USA
    English, USA
    Yes, it's an adverb. It modifies the adverb "often" which, in turn, modifies the verb "heard".

    As for its meaning, it's being used as an intensifier, like the words "rather" or "fairly", to mean "to a considerable/noticeable extent".
  5. wlh6 Member

    Ohio, USA
    English - American
    "As for its meaning, it's being used as an intensifier, like the words 'rather' or 'fairly', to mean 'to a considerable/noticeable extent'."

    ^I would agree with that. "Quite" doesn't necessarily mean "very." It's also considered slightly more formal. "Pretty often" would be a less formal way of expressing this phrase.
  6. Twodalu Member

    USA English
    I agree! An Adverb or adjective either one. The word "Quite" serves to emphasize a repeated action in this case or a thought in others. Like if you say, "She is quite beautiful" = she is very beautiful. "That car is quite expensive" = "That car is pretty expensive" ="That car is very expensive". Good luck with your English, my friend!
  7. wlh6 Member

    Ohio, USA
    English - American
    Actually, I think it's always an adverb. Adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.

    There are some idiomatic expressions in which one could contest this, however.... for example: "She is quite a lady." There really is no way to interpret this on an empirical level.
  8. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Quite (def)

    Forum discussions with the word(s) 'quite' in the title:

    "not to quite the same extent" or "not quite to the same extent"
    'can never quite escape ' phrase
    'quite a bit less/more' (why not 'quite less/more'?)
    ...quite to the contrary...
    A great deal of wine / Quite a lot of wine
    a quite perfect girl
    AE/BE "quite" That was quite good.
    AE/BE ... rather, quite ...
    AE/BE Use of "rather" and "quite"
    Alright - quite
    can't quite
    Did you notice his accent ? It's quite strong !
    Does "quite a bit" make sense?
    even quite modest rates, due to their costs, may be have a detrimental effects
    For a while. For quite a while.
    He has got quite a little good news from home.
    He is quite the land owner.
    he seems to be/have been ill for quite a long time.
    I am quite exhausted. My nose is bleeding because of that .
    I found quite a few people rush out
    I heard it's quite much.
    I know them quite well
    I'm not quite the shilling
    irrelevant quite
    it's never quite come to that
    It's quite likely that...
    it's quite long application essay for a master degree
    not a few vs quite a few
    Not feeling quite well...
    Not quite/really
    Quite (completely/rather)
    Quite (def)
    quite / pretty
    quite / rather
    Quite a ... / a quite.... ?
    quite a bit, quite a lot
    quite a bit/quite of it
    Quite a body count on this one
    quite a different/ a quite different
    quite a feat
    quite a few
    quite a good English/ quite good English
    Quite a long list of "common grammar mistakes" from a website..
    quite a lot of
    quite good
    Quite how
    quite large house
    Quite Pleased
    quite possibly
    quite road worthy
    quite some
    Quite the Coin Collector
    quite through ...
    Quite vs fairly?
    quite vs. pretty
    Quite, Pretty, Rather and Fairly
    quite: ungradable or gradable?
    quited readful (quite dreadful)
    rather, quite, fairly and pretty
    says it quite like words.
    The accusation left him quite silent/mute/ speechless with rage.
    The child seems quite happy with his new toy.
    the deficit is quite/ absolutely/ very/ extremely huge
    the desire that men feel to increase their income is quite as much as a desire for su
    the meaning of the word 'quite'
    The wedding was quite a spectacle//quite spectacular!
    These people are quite muddy.
    Tom has quite a lot of gold.
    turn things around quite quickly
    very much/quite
    Went Through Quite A Few
    What is "have quite a pair" here? Thank you.
    you've not been quite present lately
  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A very important point that it probably included in many of the previous threads is that the meaning of "quite" varies a great deal from one side of the Atlantic to the other. This difference is explored in AE/BE "quite" That was quite good.
    In BE, quite is a lot less emphatic than it is in AE.
  10. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Also in BE it can mean either totally or rather (fairly).

    She was quite silent with fear. (totally)
    She was quite silent at the party. (fairly)

    It's odd that we manage to know which of these two divergent meanings is intended when, but we seem to.

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