Easily Confused Words: Quite vs. Quiet

Quite and quiet are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway.

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Quite (pronounced “kwhite”) is an adverb. It is used to indicate completeness, or a great quantity of completion or fulfillment. It can also mean actually or truly.

Quiet (“kwhy-it”) is an adjective. It describes an environment lacking noise or other sounds.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Quetzelle was quite particular about when and where she painted. The room needed to be cool and it needed to be well lit. Above all, it needed to be quiet except for her music choice. Usually she waited until nighttime, when everyone else was fast asleep.

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