According to http://www.phrasemix.com/phrases/something-is-of-high-quality ,

It is high quality.


It is of high quality.

are both OK, but clearly the first is ungrammatical. Is it really normal to say the first, or sounds a little bit odd and is used seldomly?

  • 1
    I find it odd that although use of the word seldom has massively declined over the past couple of centuries, the (outrageously non-idiomatic, imho) use of the explicitly adverbial form seldomly has significantly increased over the past few decades. But I kinda doubt this reflects anything more than an increasing proportion of non-native speakers writing texts in English. Oct 30, 2016 at 17:11
  • @FumbleFingers You made me wonder why I wrote seldomly instead of seldom. I'm pretty sure I learned and used to use seldom before, I must have heard adj-ly a lot to the point I changed it unconsciously.
    – CYC
    Oct 30, 2016 at 22:19
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    Well, it's true most style guides still tell you to include of in your example, but I'm sure that's a matter of (outdated?) style, not "grammar". In fact, with the informal version (it's rather than it is), we decisively dumped of decades ago. So it's your seldomly that looks odd, not the missing of. Oct 30, 2016 at 22:51

1 Answer 1


It is high quality.

There is nothing wrong with this. Quality is an adjective and high is an adverb modifying quality. Adjectives are OK after to be since to be is a copular verb and can take subject complements.

It is of high quality

It's also fine for a subject complement to be a prepositional phrase. The prepositional phrase's object is the sentence's subject.

So, what's the difference in meaning?

"X is high quality" - You are saying X has the attribute high quality. No implication, and this is best if the attribute high quality is inherent to X.

"X is of high quality" - You are implying X has the attribute high quality compared to those in group of other X's, or you are implying something used to make X has given X the attribute high quality.

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