Usage of Quite and Rather

 

QUITE                                                                                                       

Means less than ‘very’ but more than ‘a little’ : 

  •  The film was quite good but the book was much better.
  •  She is quite attractive, but not what I’d call gorgeous.

 Quite  goes before  a  /  an

  • He is quite a good soccer player ( not  a quite  good soccer player)

RATHER

It is similar to quite. We use rather mainly with negative words and negative ideas :

  • He is limping rather badly
  • ‘What was the examination like ? ”Rather difficult , I am afraid.’

When we use rather with positive words it means ‘unusually’ or ‘surprisingly’ :

  •  These pears are rather nice ( nicer than expected ) where did you buy them ?

QUITE also means ‘completely’ and NOT QUITE not completely :

  • He  has quite recovered from his illness     
  •  They have not quite finished their lunch yet

Especially with a number of adjectives : 

 sure, certain, right, wrong, true, safe, clear,different, incredible, extraordinary, amazing,  impossible,  unnecessary, obvious