Quiet, Quit or Quite: What’s the Difference?

Quite, Quit, and Quiet are among the most regularly used words in English; knowing their definitions is key to fluency.

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    How Do You Spell Quite, Quiet and Quit?

    Many people have a hard time spelling these three words.

    1. Quit is basically a short vowel sound. It is pronounced as /kwɪt/ for both US and UK.

    2. How do you spell quiteSimple! By adding the magic ‘e’ to quit to have quite.

    Quit, and quite both have one syllable, but quite has a longer sound.

    Most of the time quite means “fairly” in British English, but when an American says “quite,” they mean “very.”

     British English:

    The atmosphere was quite relaxing, although the roads were narrow. 

     American English:

    They examined the area quite thoroughly. 

    3. The word “quiet” has two syllables. “qui / et” quiet, which means shush! The best way to remember how to spell or use this word is to say the syllables slowly: “qu/et.”

    Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash

    What Does Quiet Mean?

    When it’s used as a noun, an adjective, or a verb, quiet is used slightly differently, especially when it comes to grammar. 

    As a Noun:

    As a noun, the word can be used to replace a subject or object in a sentence. 

    Example:

    “Quiet” means silent (like “the quiet of a mortuary”)

    As an Adjective:

    “Quiet” can also act an adjective that describes a noun. It means calm or still.

    Examples include:

    “A quiet place to read”

    “The quiet village was where the old man lived.”

    As a Verb:

    It means to make or become quiet. We use “quiet” to express an action.

    Some examples are:

    “Be quiet!”

     “He called for quiet”

    Proper Way to Use Quit

    “Quit,” which is always a verb, means to stop doing something, leave it, or be free of it.

    Examples include:

    “I want to quit my job”

    “He quit his career to travel round the world”

    Proper Way to Use Quite

    “Quite” means completely, in a positive way, or to a large degree

    This sentence implies that she was very upset about something.

    Examples include:

     “The exam was quite easy.”

    “She was quite upset when you didn’t help her.” 

    How to Tell the Differences

    1. Use the Syllables

    The only word with two syllables among these three is “quiet”: “qui–et.” Its fundamental meaning is “silent,” consisting of two syllables: si–lent. Remember that both “quiet” and “silent” indicate “still, peaceful, or devoid of sound.”

    2. Apply the Swap-Out Test

    The swap-out test will help to differentiate “quit” from “quite.” If you are unsure about which word to use, you can determine which is correct by using both in the same phrase. So, you may say:

    We Are “quite” Delighted to Have You Here.

    “Quite” means “very” or “extremely” in this context, so the sentence makes sense if you replace “quite” with its synonym. As in: 

    We Are “extremely” Delighted to Have You Here.

    But if you had used the other word, you would have said, 

    “We Are “quit” Delighted to Have You Here.”

    If you switched one of the definitions for “quit,” you would have: 

    “We Are “leave” Delighted to Have You Here.”

    A term like “quite” is necessary to make sense of this. You might utilize a mnemonic device based on the “e” factor to recall the distinctions between the words.

    It is easy to remember the distinctions between “very,” which means “extremely,” and “quit,” which means “left,” using the tactics above. Give it a try and let’s know how it works out.

    To Wrap Up

    Quiet has several definitions that can be found online, mainly defined as a sound that is significantly more subdued than the surrounding sounds. It is often used in contexts of silence and calm, though it can also be defined as being relatively less loud than before. 

    The term “Quite” is used only in quick definitions or when the speaker gives approximate estimates or percentages. 

    Quit is a term that means to leave, especially to stop working or refuse to continue something. 

    Pay careful attention to the uses of each of these words, and you’ll find your vocabulary much more on the right track. 

     

    Quiet, Quit or Quite: What’s the Difference?

    Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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