Common mistake a quite while (quite a while)

A Common Mistake: "a quite while" vs "quite a while"

One of the most common mistakes in English grammar is the incorrect use of the phrase "a quite while" instead of "quite a while". This error in word order can lead to confusion and make your writing sound awkward or unnatural. Let's take a closer look at the correct usage of this phrase and understand why it is important to get it right.

The Correct Phrase: "Quite a While"

The correct phrase is "quite a while," where "quite" is an adverb that means "to a considerable extent" or "fairly," and "a while" refers to an extended period of time.

For example, instead of saying, "I haven't seen him in a quite while," the correct form would be, "I haven't seen him in quite a while." The placement of "quite" before "a while" ensures that the phrase is grammatically correct and conveys the intended meaning.

The Incorrect Phrase: "A Quite While"

Using "a quite while" is incorrect because the adverb "quite" should come after the indefinite article "a" and before the noun "while."

Incorrect example: "He has been waiting for a quite while."
Corrected example: "He has been waiting for quite a while."

Incorrect example: "It took her a quite while to finish the book."
Corrected example: "It took her quite a while to finish the book."

By reversing the word order and using "quite a while" instead of "a quite while," your sentences will sound more natural and follow the standard rules of English grammar.

In summary, always remember to use "quite a while" instead of "a quite while" to ensure the correct word order in your sentences. By paying attention to such details, you can improve the clarity and effectiveness of your writing.

Linguix Grammar Checker is a useful tool that can help you identify and correct common grammatical mistakes in your writing, including errors like "a quite while" versus "quite a while." It provides instant feedback and suggestions, helping you to enhance the overall quality of your content and write with confidence.

a quite while (quite a while) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    It was a quite while since he appeared last on TV.

    It was quite a while since he appeared last on TV.

  • Incorrect:
    There's a quite confusion around this matter.

    There's quite a confusion around this matter.

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