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Oxford practice grammar.doc
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3 Very cold, really hurting, etc (b-d)

Put the adverbs in the right place. Sometimes more than one answer is correct.

  • These books are old (very). These books are very old.

  • I hate travelling by air (really). I really hate travelling by air.

  1. That radio is loud (a bit).

  2. 1 like my new job (quite).

  3. Why don't you slow down (a little)?

  4. The rain spoilt our day (completely).

  5. We did the job quickly (fairly).

  6. I feel better now (a lot).

  7. We enjoyed the concert (very much).

  8. My arms ached (terribly).

4 Adverbs of degree (A-D)

Complete the advertisement for holiday apartments by choosing the correct words.

Why not take this opportunity to buy a wonderful Interlux Timeshare apartment in San Manila? These are (►) a bit/rather/really luxurious apartments set in this (1) absolutely/slightly magnificent seaside resort, a (2) fairly/really beautiful and unspoilt place, which you'll like (3) much/very/very much. The apartments are (4) extremely/pretty/quite good value. And we are a company with a (5) fairly/quite/very good reputation. This is a (6) bit/slightly/totally safe way of investing your money. But hurry! People are buying up the apartments (7) a lot/very/very much quickly.

116 Quite and rather

A Quite meaning 'fairly'

Quite usually means 'fairly' or 'a medium amount' (see Unit 115A).

I jeel quite hungry now. Repairing the machine is quite difficult.

The talk was quite interesting. We were quite surprised at the result. (But see D for another meaning of quite.)

B Stress with quite

In speech, whether we stress quite or the adjective makes a difference to the meaning.

If we stress quite, it means 'fairly but not very'. If we stress the adjective, the meaning is positive

The meaning is negative. (but not as positive as very).

The exhibition was quite good, but I've seen The exhibition was quite good. I enjoyed looking

better ones. round it.

I get up quite early, but not as early as you do. I got up quite early. I had a lot of jobs to do.

C Quite or rather?

When we make a favourable comment, we usually say quite, not rather. The book was quite interesting. It's quite warm now. It was quite nice walking through the park.

In unfavourable comments, we usually say rather, but quite is possible. The book was rather boring/quite boring. It was rather awkward/quite awkward taking my suitcase on the underground.

Rather in a favourable comment means 'to a surprising or unusual degree'. It's rather warm for October. (It isn't usually so warm.) / didn't know David can cook. He's rather good at it. I expect Tom's jokes were awful. ~ Actually they were rather funny.

We can use rather with a comparative but not quite. The meal took rather longer than we expected.

For quite and rather with a/an, see Unit 89B. It was quite an interesting book.

D Quite meaning 'completely'

With some adjectives, quite means 'completely' or 'totally'. What you said is quite wrong. {= completely wrong) The idea is quite absurd. (= totally absurd) The situation is quite hopeless.

Quite means 'completely' with these adjectives: absurd, alone, amazing, awful, brilliant, certain, dead, different, dreadful, extraordinary, false, hopeless, horrible, impossible, perfect, ridiculous, right, sure, true, useless, wrong

Compare the uses of quite.

I'm quite tired. (= fairly) I'm quite exhausted. (= completely)

The advice was quite useful. I got one or two The advice was quite useless. It was absolutely

tips. no good at all.

116 Exercises

1 Stress with quite (B)

Which word do we stress, quite or the adjective? Underline the stressed word.

  • These pens are quite good but not as good as the ones I usually buy.

  • This book is quite exciting. I can't put it down.

  1. These fashions are quite new but not the very latest thing.

  2. It's quite late. We'd better be going.

  3. The sums are quite easy. I can do them in my head.

  4. The music was quite good, but I wasn't really impressed.

  5. The sun is quite bright. You'll need your sunglasses.

2 Quite or rather? (C)

Put in these adjectives: better, busy, nice, noisy, popular

Usequite or rather with each adjective. Sometimes either is possible.

Mark: I didn't like that meal very much.

Sarah: The soup was (►) quite nice though, wasn't it?

Mark: The food was (1) the last time we came.

Sarah: It's (2)…………………….. in here, isn't it? Everyone seems to be shouting.

Mark: I wasn't expecting the place to be so full. It's (3)………………………. for a Monday evening

Sarah: This restaurant is (4) , you know.

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