Answered By: Writing Center
Last Updated: Apr 25, 2015     Views: 10

They all have very similar meaning --  less than very but more than a little.

Pretty is used mostly in spoken English because it's informal.

e.g.: You should watch the movie. It's pretty good.

Quite is followed by a/an + adjective, noun or we can say quite a lot (of) as well. Quite is used with verbs especially like and enjoy. It also means completely - quite sure. It can be used with verbs to have the same meaning.

e.g.: Quite a lot of kids come here to play. 

Rather is used in negative context.

e.g.: The song's rather bad. You can tell it won't be a hit.

Fairly is less than quite/rather/pretty and it has a meaning not very good, could be better.

e.g.: It's fairly good. Just wait until it comes out in DVD, though. It's not worth watching in the theater.

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