I have found that adverbs such as 'pretty', 'fairly', 'quite', and 'rather' imply the same meaning as 'more than average' or 'to some extent' when these adverbs are used with gradable adjectives. But I'm very confused because I'm not understanding What 'more than average' means.

Please clarify its meanings with examples.

1 Answer 1


If you have the worst (-100%) at one end of the scale and the best (100%) at the other end of the scale, average (0%) is half way between them. More/better than average means somewhere been average and the best

The band was good +60%

The band was pretty good + 50%

The band was rather good + 30%

The band was fairly good + 20%

The band was not bad +10%

For stronger terms, you can use:

The band was very good +70%

The band was really good +80%

The band was extremely good 90%

Note that adverb strengths are only approximate: these are my opinions and other people may see things differently.

  • I haven't got you yet. what happens if i say, The film was pretty/ quite/rather/fairly good. . . .what is the meaning of more than average ?
    – yubraj
    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:04
  • More than average means somewhere been average and good. "The film was pretty good" means that it was better than average.
    – JavaLatte
    Apr 21, 2016 at 12:40
  • I can't understand the phrase 'somewhere been average and good'' that you have said
    – yubraj
    Apr 21, 2016 at 13:12
  • I have rephrased my answer to "somewhere between average and the best". is that clearer?
    – JavaLatte
    Apr 21, 2016 at 13:17
  • 1
    @yubraj - I think you've said it pretty well. When it comes to films, the difference between a "good film" and a "pretty good film" is minimal, but the difference between a "good film" and a "really good film" is quite substantial. (As a footnote, I pretty much agree with this answer, too, although as the answer says, these are mere approximations. We don't generally quantify these feelings, we just try to express them approximately.)
    – J.R.
    Apr 21, 2016 at 17:04

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