Sunday, November 28, 2010

Quite vs Quiet

by Marsha Ward

Several weeks ago, I followed an exchange on a social site between several people, discussing an admonition by a local church leader to the membership to be more quiet during church services. This can be a problem and a challenge, where families with small children worship together.

One of the participants in the exchange spoke of the problem of getting children to be quite in church.

Quite what? I wondered, but kept reading. After the person repeated the use of quite instead of quiet, I saw the problem. It hadn't been a mere slip of the fingers in making a typographical error. She really didn't realize that she was using the wrong word entirely, transposing the e and the t time and again.

Quiet is an adjective (modifies a noun), or a noun, or even two kinds of verbs, but all are related to a state of stillness, silence, not speaking, not noisy, etc.

Quite is an adverb (modifies a verb) meaning completely, really, positively, very and the like, as in quite warm, quite happy, quite a few, quite a bit, etc.

If you find yourself confused as to which spelling goes with which word, try speaking them both out loud. 

qui-et 

quite (the silent e at the end of the word makes the i say its name, remember?)

I hope you all have a quite quiet Sabbath service today.

3 comments:

  1. Good luck on this Marsha. I can't figure out the whole loose/lose syndrome.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always have to stop and think about lose/loose, chose/choose . Thanks for the subtle reminder. Getting it all right is an art.

    ReplyDelete

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