What's the difference between the word "commonly" and "quite commonly"? From what i have understood, the "quite commonly" puts more emphasize on the word "commonly". Am i right?



OOP is a type of programming that enables us to create various types objects that can contain data, in the form of attributes, and behaviors in the form of methods. Quite commonly, methods are designed to assign values to attributes or to access previously-assigned values, but there are many other types of roles they can play.

  • You could be quite right! The problem is the lack of context. Where does your doubt stem from? Do you have any specific examples that you're unable to understand? Why should the meaning of "quite" in this case differ from its "normal" meaning? – JMB Mar 19 '15 at 11:46
  • Hi. Thanks for the answer and i will edit my post immediately. – GforOevOerD Mar 19 '15 at 11:48

Quite is equivalent to very, which is a modifier that intensifies (in the sense of answering "how much" or "how strong") its base word.

Alice is strange, she wears an unusual hair style.

Bob is quite strange, he wears an unusual hair style.

Bob's hair is more unusual than Alice's.

Emphasize can mean you are bringing the focus or importance of a sentence towards a particular word, quite doesn't usually do that.

I went to the park with my dog. [No emphasis on either fact (that you went to the park and that your dog was with you) here]

I did go to the park with my dog. [Emphasis is on you going to the park, the fact that you went with your dog is less important.]

I went to the park taking my dog with me. [This emphasizes a litte the fact your dog was with you, but not very much.]

I went to the park and I did have my dog with me. [You having the dog with you is emphasized and the most important idea of the sentence here.]

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    I don't really accept your Alice/Bob distinction. True, quite often equates to very (i.e. - more than whatever you might understand by the "unqualified" adjective), but there are plenty of contexts where it actually means somewhat, to a certain extent, a bit (i.e. - Bob is less strange than you might have thought). With nothing else to go on I'd probably assume the second connotation in your particular A/B distinction. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 19 '15 at 12:44
  • I guess you mean it can also be equivalent to completely - that's something I didn't think about. google.com/#q=quite+definition. I was trying mostly to say though that emphasizing words/phrases are different than intensifying them. – LawrenceC Mar 19 '15 at 16:27
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    @ultrasawblade: Hi. Didn't know that emphasizing and intensifying are two different concepts. Thank you so much. By the way, due to my low reputation, I can't upvote you. But as soon as i get at least 15 reputations, i will upvote. Thanks again. – GforOevOerD Mar 19 '15 at 17:42
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    @ultrasawblade: I didn't actually say quite can mean completely - I was talking about contexts where it just means more than "not at all" (but possibly not very much more than nothing). I'm no expert on terminology, but I suppose an intensifier is essentially a degree adverb, which for some words (usually, depending on context) can be a term that reduces rather than amplifies the default connotations of a usage. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 19 '15 at 18:29

While "quite" does put emphasis on the following word it also affects its position related to the sentence. Based on how I would use it in spoken English:

  • Methods are designed to assign values to attributes or to access previously-assigned values quite commonly, but ...
  • Commonly, methods are designed to assign values to attributes or to access previously-assigned values, but ...

similar to:

  • Likely, a certain event happened ...
  • A certain event happened quite likely ...

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