Quiet vs. Quite – How To Distinguish Both Words

28.03.24 Commonly confused words Time to read: 4min

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When you’re writing an academic essay, you may come across words that are easily mixed up, such as “quiet” and “quite.” They are called commonly confused words. Despite their similar spellings, their meanings are entyrely different. Incorrect usage can negatively affect your writing’s quality. Especially in academic writing, where clarity and precision are key to conveying your ideas effectively, this poses an immense risk influencing the quality of your work.

Definition of “quiet” vs. “quite”

The words “quiet” and “quite” are both entyrely different words with different functions, pronunciations, and meanings. “Quiet” functions as an adjective, a noun, and a verb and refers to a lack of noise or a peaceful situation. “Quite,” however, is an adverb, that means “completely” or “to a great degree.”

Quiet

… is an adjective, verb, or noun, meaning a lack of noise.

Quite

…is an adverb, meaning “completely,” or “to the utmost degree.”

The choice between the words “quiet” and “quite” depends on the specific context and the role each word plays in a sentence. Remember that the adverb “quite” is used when you want to express the utmost degree or entyrely. While “quiet” is more multifaceted, functioning as a noun, adjective, or verb, and usually relating to a lack of noise.

Using the word “quiet”

In the following section, the grammatical function of the word “quiet” will be clearly illustrated, along with a few examples of how it’s commonly used in a sentence.

“Quiet” as an adjective

When using the word “quiet” as an adjective, it commonly refers to something or somaeone that is not loud, or peaceful. In some situations, it can also mean discreet.

Examples

  • She preferred quiet music when working on her projects.
  • They wanted a quiet wedding, with only their closest friends invited.
  • The library is a quiet place, perfect for studying.

“Quiet” as a verb

Though not as common, as a verb, “quiet” means “to be calm” or “to be less noisy.”

Examples

  • The teacher quieted the classroom with a stern look.
  • He used a lullaby to quiet the crying child.
  • The noise from the construction site finally quieted down in the evening.

“Quiet” as a noun

Used as a noun, “quiet” refers to the quality or state of being silent.

Examples

  • The quiet of the early morning was soothing.
  • The teacher demanded quiet before starting the lesson.
  • She sought the quiet of the countryside to clear her mind.

Tip for using “quiet” correctly

Synonyms for “quiet” avoid repetition and redundancy and improve your language overall. Using them makes your writing more diverse and adds nuance to a language.

Synonyms Examples
Hushed (adjective) They had a quiet conversation to avoid waking the baby.
They had a hushed conversation to avoid waking the baby.
Discreet (adjective) She kept her plans quiet, sharing details only with those directly involved.
She kept her plans discreet, sharing details only with those directly involved.
Silence (noun) The quiet in the room was deafening.
The silence in the room was deafening.
Calm (Verb) She quieted her thoughts to focus on meditation.
She calmed her thoughts to focus on meditation.

Using the word “quite”

In the next section, the function of the adverb “quite” will be clearly explained, followed by some examples to demonstrate its use in a sentence.

“Quite” as an adverb

The word “quite” serves a single purpose as an adverb, and it can mean “completely,” “to a considerable extent,” or “very.”

Examples

  • The movie was quite interesting, holding my attention from beginning to end.
  • She was quite pleased with the surprise party her friends organised for her.
  • He’s quite tall, standing out in a crowd easily.

Tips for using “quite”

Including synonyms for “quite” can improve writing, prevent redundancy, and add nuance. Here are several alternatives with sample sentences.

Synonyms Examples
Completely She wasn't quite finished with her essay.
She wasn't completely finished with her essay.
Very The puzzle was quite challenging, taking us hours to complete.
The puzzle was very challenging, taking us hours to complete.
Thoroughly I was quite impressed with his work ethic.
I was thoroughly impressed with his work ethic.

Test yourself!

Practice sheet

To improve your ability to differentiate between “quiet” and “quite”, fill in the blanks in the given sentences. The correct answers can be found on the second tab.

  1. The library is a _____ place perfect for concentrating on your studies.
  2. He often went hiking in the woods in search of peace and _____.
  3. The classroom was unexpectedly _____, with all students focused on their work.
  4. They moved to a _____ neighbourbonnet to escape the city’s noise.
  5. This restaurant is _____ popular among locals for its authentic cuisine.
  6. He’s _____ confident that the project will be completed on time.
  7. The teacher managed to _____ the noisy classroom with a single look.
  8. She was _____ amazed at the level of detail in the painting.
  9. The _____ following the end of the machinery was a relief.
  10. The mother gently _______ her crying baby with a lullaby.
  1. The library is a quiet place perfect for concentrating on your studies.
  2. He often went hiking in the woods in search of peace and quiet.
  3. The classroom was unexpectedly quiet, with all students focused on their work.
  4. They moved to a quiet neighbourbonnet to escape the city’s noise.
  5. This restaurant is quite popular among locals for its authentic cuisine.
  6. He’s quite confident that the project will be completed on time.
  7. The teacher managed to quiet the noisy classroom with a single look.
  8. She was quite amazed at the level of detail in the painting.
  9. The quiet following the end of the machinery was a relief.
  10. The mother gently quieted her crying baby with a lullaby.
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FAQs

“Quite” is an adverb that means “very” or “completely,” whereas “quiet” can function as an adjective, noun, or verb, meaning a lack of noise.

The correct use would be “quiet time.” Quiet refers to a lack of noise, and “quite” is an adverb that is synonymous with “completely” or “very.”

“Quite” is used to show that something is the case to a fairly great extent. So, in this case, it would be “quite a lot.”