Difference between Quiet and Quite

Key difference: The words quiet and quite sound alike in pronunciation, but aren't the same at all. Quiet is an adjective which often indicates some sort of restraint, and quite is an adverb which is used in intensifying a statement to a certain degree.

The word quiet is an adjective used to express something that is not loud, or is silent in nature. Quiet can also be used to express the absence of noise in a particular environment. It is basically associated with the matters of sound, acoustics, or aural surroundings. On the other hand, the word quite is an adverb that is used to lay emphasis on or to intensify the statement which is being made by the orator. It roughly means the same as the word very. From the word quite, one can understand that the thing being talked about is almost, or nearly complete. Interestingly, both these words are often mixed up, as they sound similar in pronunciation.

However, on close observation one would find that there exists a subtle difference between the pronunciations of quiet and quite. The former is pronounced as a two-syllable word, i.e. kwahy-et and the latter is pronounced as a single syllable word, which is kwahyt. Therefore, bearing this slight audible difference and the meaning of these words in mind, one can very well distinguish between quiet and quite. This distinction would appear even more lucid by studying the following example:

For example:

The teacher was quite angry at her students for making noise, and ordered them to keep quiet.

Quite:

In the above sentence, the word quite is used to indicate the degree of teacher’s anger. Had the word quiet been omitted from this sentence, the resultant effect would be that the teacher was somewhat angry or mildly angry at her students. However, with the word quite in place, one can learn that the teacher was so angry with her students that she ordered them to keep quiet. Hence, the word quite is used to express the extent of a verb in a sentence.

 Quiet:

In the same sentence, the word quiet is used as an adjective for the noun word students. Essentially, the teacher is telling the students to not make noise in the classroom. In other words, the teacher wants them to observe silence. Thus, the word quiet is used as a pointer for this purpose.

Comparison between Quiet and Quite:

 

Quiet

Quite

Meaning

Quiet is an adjective used for indicating silence.

Quite is an adverb which is used in intensifying a statement.

Nature of word

Adjective

Adverb

The word which it defines

Noun

Verb

Pronunciation

Using two syllables (Kwahy-et)

Using one syllable (Kwahyt)

Example of usage

Sheena was quiet when asked about her absence last night.

That boy Simmons is quite an exciting player.

Image Courtesy: mommasunshine.wordpress.com, missnattysbeautydiary.com

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