The Grammar Guide Spelling What is the difference between "quite" and "quiet"?

What is the difference between "quite" and "quiet"?

What is the difference between "quite" and "quiet"?

The words quite and quiet are often confused by writers. Confusion between these two words is generally due to a typo. It's easy to hit the E and T keys in the wrong order and type quiet when you mean quite.

Out of the two words, quite is more common. It appears about four times more frequently than quiet.

Quite means to the greatest extent or degree; completely, entirely when used as an adverb. For example:

  • He is quite nervous.
  • She is quite happy.

Quiet means with little or no sound when used as an adjective. For example:

  • Let me have a quiet word.
  • He is the quiet boy.

A good way to remember the difference is to focus on the pronunciation. We pronounce quiet with the final -et made clear. For quite, the final -e is silent. If you focus on the pronunciation of the words then it shouldn't be difficult to distinguish them.

Is the expression quite different from or quiet different from?

The right phrase is quite different from.

What's the correct phrase, I am quite sure or I am quiet sure?

The right expression is I am quite sure.

Should I use quite a number of or quiet a number of?

You should use quite a number of.

Should I use quiet as a mouse or quite as a mouse?

The correct phrase is quiet as a mouse.

Some synonyms of quite are: truly, utterly, fully, altogether.

Some synonyms of quiet are: silent, reticent, subdued, restrained.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary.

Examples of quite in a sentence

Her boyfriend—she never quite remembered to put the “ex” in front of that—was hitting on her.
- The Replacement Child by Christine Barber
Velvet's graceful curtsy of acknowledgment was not quite so florid as Silk's grandiose bow. .
- Demon Lord of Karanda by David Eddings
Hed never been quite sure how he had managed to win her.
- Nothing gold can stay by Dana Stabenow
Not quite, he realized, but almost.
- Beyond belief by Roy Johansen
That side of things, which he had heard talked about, was quite incomprehensible to him.
- From Russia with love: a James Bond novel by Ian Fleming

Examples of quiet in a sentence

Next to him, Amelia moaned, a quiet little moan, as if shed had practice in hiding it.
- Nothing gold can stay by Dana Stabenow
But both scanners were quiet.
- The Replacement Child by Christine Barber
The thought is quiet as a flake,—A crash without a sound;
- The collected poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson; Rachel Wetzsteon
They had been too quiet.
- Beyond belief by Roy Johansen
The quiet admission sobered them.
- The wandering fire by Guy Gavriel Kay

Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.