Quiet or Quite?
The words quiet (two syllables) and quite (one syllable) are frequently confused.
Quiet! Please be quite. Quiet!
I encountered this bit of dialogue in a mystery published by W.W. Norton. A character is being kidnapped and the words are spoken by one of the kidnappers. Obviously all three words are meant to be quiet.
Quiet can be used as an adjective meaning “of little activity,” or as a noun meaning “tranquility” or “silence.”
After lunch the children enjoyed an hour of quiet play. (adjective)
We enjoyed the quiet of the countryside. (noun)
Quite is an adverb and has the sense of “totally” or “completely.”
She was quite exhausted after the warm-up exercise.
Quiet can also be used as a verb meaning “to cause to be quiet.”
The man behind us shouted “Quiet down, can’t you?”
The leader quieted the protesters so the mayor could be heard.
Note: the words “quieten” and “quietened” are not standard American usage.Recommended for you: « August 2007 Most Popular Posts »
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13 Responses to “Quiet or Quite?”
Joeon June 25, 2012 3:28 am:
Actually, putting apostrophes on plurals can be done when you’re showing the plurals’ ownership (see what I did there?) – “the parents’ dilemma over raising the child.”
The “should of” comes out of misunderstanding the contraction of should have, “should’ve”, where the have becomes “of” when pronounced. Pretty sure Weird Al covers it in Word Crimes”
But add to your list an s after an apostrophe after an s, i.e., “Bridget Jones’ Diary” not “Bridget Jones’s (i.e., Joneses) Diary,”
I see this all the time. Other common fails are:
should have – should of, could of, would of
you’re – your
lose – loose
too – to
off – of
know – no
than – then
waste – waist of time
weather – whether
worthwhile – worth wild
except – accept
role – roll
complement – compliment
fare – fair
in other words – another words
for all intents and purposes – for all intensive purposes
Putting apostrophes on plurals
For an educated person, there really is no excuse to make any of these mistakes.
Reply to mr Osmosis.
This must include you??
“witch one it is using that really matters to be honest….”
Such poor use of the english language is fail.
No sexy time for you – and no babies 😛
Using quite instead of quiet is, 99% of the time, a spelling mistake or typo. Maybe 1% of people think quite means quiet. At least I hope so.
This is not a typp. I am doing a smartboard presentation in college for this because over 50% of Americans dont truly understand when to use which one
would you mind sending me copy of Basic English Grammar ? I will be thankful .
I used Google just to verify !
I think many people are making this confusion 😉
Thank you 🙂
oh ,no, have a friend to regularly uses “quite” when he means “quiet”.. drives me nuts…and the same person sent an email saying ” should of joined us for lunch” …hmmmm…
I see this typo very often! Mostly when people are trying to say “quiet”…they type “quite”. I am surprised at how often this happens.
Another very common “mistake” is the confusion on the part of people when it comes to using “to” and “too” and “there” , “their” and “they’re”. Many, many people do not know the proper use of and/or spellings of these words. It is amazing.
“Quite” should be avoided as it rarely adds meaning.
Tom, if the confusion happened on a printed book, I think it could very easily happen around the Internet, don’t you think 🙂 ?
Yes, it was a typo, but there it was, in a printed book.
Someone mixed them up.
No they’re not. These two words are never confused. You’re kidding right? This would only happen as a typo.