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I came to know that "almost" and "quite" are not used together. But I don't get the reason why these two words can't be together.

In my textbook, it's written that quite and almost both are adverbs and we don't use any other adverb before quite, but adverbs can also be used to qualify another adverbs.

Please explain. For example, in this sentence:

The AI players are almost quite competent in staying together as a team.

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    Because this is a forum dedicated to learning English, please refrain from using shorthand forms like "Plz" and "Thx". – J.R. Oct 4 '18 at 14:16
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Think of almost as meaning roughly 90%. You could replace it with 90% in these examples:

The performance was almost perfect
The cat was almost dead when we found it
He answered almost truthfully

Note that these adjectives and adverbs are all non-gradable. It is possible to use almost with gradable adjectives, but it is unusual.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, quite has two meanings. If you use it with a non-gradable adjective or adverb, it means 100%, and if you use it with a gradable adjective or adverb, it means roughly 60%. You could replace it with 60% in these examples:

The performance was quite good
The cat was quite hungry when we got home
He answered quite sensibly

competent is a gradable adjective (you can say that somebody is very competent), so quite in this context means 60%.

If you say almost quite competent, it's like saying 90% 60% competent... it's not a sensible way of describing something. In addition, since 90% of 60% is 55%, you could just use quite on its own to mean 55%, as the percentages I have suggested are only approximate.

If you use almost quite with a non-gradable adjective like dead, it's like saying 90% 100% dead: again, it's not a sensible way of describing something.

  • Does it mean that almost and quite can never be together ? – manish thakur Oct 9 '18 at 5:07
  • It doesn't really make sense to talk about a tall short person, but people do it: they exercise poetic licence. In the same way, it doesn't really make sense to put almost quite together, because they mean different things, but never is too strong a word to use, because people can use poetic licence to use words in ways that were never intended. – JavaLatte Oct 9 '18 at 5:17

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