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Unit 104. Quite, pretty, rather and fairly




Unit 104; Part A


galka.jpgYou can use quite / pretty / rather / fairly + adjectives or adverbs. So you can say:
      •    It's quite cold.        It's pretty cold.        It's rather cold.        It's fairly cold.

Quite / pretty / rather / fairly
= less than 'very' but more than 'a little'.

Unit 104; Part B


galka.jpgQuite and pretty are very similar in meaning:

      •    You'll need a coat when you go out. It's quite cold / pretty cold (= less than 'very cold', but more than 'a little cold')
      •    I'm surprised you haven't heard of her. She's quite famous / pretty famous.
      •    Amanda lives quite near me, so we see each other pretty often.

Pretty
is an informal word and is used mainly in spoken English.


Quite
goes before a/an:

      •    We live in quite an old house (not a quite old house)

Compare:
      •    Sally has quite a good job.
            Sally has a pretty good job.


You can also use quite
(but not pretty) in the following ways:
quite a/an + noun (without an adjective):
      •    I didn't expect to see them. It was quite a surprise.  (= quite a big surprise)
quite a lot (of ...):
      •    There were quite a lot of people at the meeting.
quite + verb, especially like and enjoy:
      •    I quite like tennis, but it's not my favourite sport.

Unit 104; Part C


galka.jpgRather is similar to quite and pretty. We often use rather for negative ideas:

      •    The weather isn't so good. It's rather cloudy.
      •    Paul is rather shy. He doesn't talk very much.

Quite and pretty are also possible in these examples.

When we use rather for positive ideas
(good/nice etc.), it means 'unusually' or 'surprisingly':
      •    These oranges are rather good. Where did you get them?

Unit 104; Part D


galka.jpgFairly is weaker than quite / rather / pretty. For example, if something is fairly good, it is not very good and it could be better:

      •    My room is fairly big, but I'd prefer a bigger one.
      •    We see each other fairly often, but not as often as we used to.

Unit 104; Part E


galka.jpgQuite also means 'completely'. For example:
      •    'Are you sure?'    'Yes, quite sure.'  (= completely sure)

Quite
means 'completely' with a number of adjectives, especially:


sure        right         true       clear         different          incredible         amazing
certain    wrong      safe      obvious     unnecessary    extraordinary    impossible


      •    She was quite different from what I expected.
  (= completely different)
      •    Everything they said was quite true.  (= completely true)

We also use
quite (= completely) with some verbs. For example:
      •    I quite agree with you.  (= I completely agree)

Not quite
= not completely:
      •    They haven't quite finished their dinner yet.
      •    I don't quite understand what you mean.
      •    'Are you ready yet?'    'Not quite.'
  (= not completely)



Exercises

flag.jpgComplete the sentences using quite + the following:
Key.2    quite hungry
3    Quite good
4    quite often
5    quite noisy
6    quite surprised
7    quite late
8    quite old

 
famous       good        hungry       late       noisy       often        old        surprised
 
1    I'm surprised you haven't heard of her. She's    quite famous  .   
2    I'm ______________. Is there anything to eat?
3    'How were the photographs you took?'    ' ______________. Better than usual.'
4    I go to the cinema ______________ - maybe once a month.
5    We live near a very busy road, so it's often ______________.
6    I didn't expect Laura to contact me. I was ______________ when she phoned.
7    I went to bed ______________ last night, so I'm a bit tired this morning.
8    I don't know exactly when these houses were built, but they're _____________.

flag.jpgComplete the sentences using quite + the following:
Key.2    quite a good voice
3    quite a long way
4    quite a strong wind
5    quite a lot of traffic
6    quite a busy day
7    quite a nice time

 
a busy day    a good voice    a nice time    a lot of traffic
a nice day     a long way      a strong wind
 
1    The weather was better than we had expected. It was    quite a nice day  .   
2    Tom often sings. He's got ___________________.
3    The bus stop wasn't very near the hotel. We had to walk ___________________.
4    It's warm today, but there's ___________________.
5    The journey took longer than I expected. There was ___________________.
6    I'm tired. I've had ___________________.
7    Our holiday was OK. We had ___________________.

flag.jpgUse your own ideas to complete these sentences. Use rather + adjective.
Key.Example answers:
2    rather long
3    rather disappointed
4    rather strange
5    rather impatient


1    The weather isn't so good. It's   rather cloudy  .   
2    I enjoyed the film, but it was _______________.
3    The hotel we stayed at wasn't very good. I was _______________.
4    I think it's _______________ that Chris went away without telling anybody.
5    Lucy doesn't like having to wait. Sometimes she's _______________.

flag.jpgComplete these sentences using quite + the following:
Key.2    quite safe
3    quite impossible
4    quite right
5    quite different
6    quite unnecessary
7    quite sure


different    impossible    right    safe    sure    true    unnecessary

1    I didn't believe her at first, but in fact what she said was    quite true  .   
2    You won't fall. The ladder is ________________.
3    I'm afraid I can't do what you ask. It's ________________.
4    I couldn't agree with you more. You are ________________.
5    You can't compare rhe rwo things. They are ________________.
6    You needn't have done that. It was ________________.
7    I think I saw them go out, but I'm not ________________.


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