Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Aubrey Carter
"3 Keys IELTS Certified Coach"

Which is more valued in your culture, listening or talking?

In today’s episode, Lindsay and Aubrey answer a listener’s question on the different ways to use the word ‘quiet.’

This word can be confusing as it is used as an adjective, verb and noun.

They also dive into deeper questions of culture and life.

Peace and quiet

Aubrey asks Lindsay if she ever has a quiet day.

Lindsay answers that a quiet day sounds so great.

She then asks Aubrey if she means Lindsay being quiet or her surroundings being quiet.

Lindsay mentions she does have quiet days sometimes.

Aubrey misses quiet days because she has four children.

When she’s quiet, her kids worry and they ask her what’s wrong.

The word ‘quiet’ has many meanings and can be used in so many ways.

Today’s question

Hi Lindsay and Michelle, many thanks for all what you providing us to improve our connection with the real English world. I have a question about the word quiet that carries multiple meanings sometimes as noun, verb or adjective. Need to break it down to know all situations its used.

Lindsay and Aubrey also do episodes where they answer listener questions to help them bring their English skills to a higher level.

You can listen to episodes like AEE 2099: How to Switch Topics Like a Pro for Better Connections to unlock a conversational skill.

Why the word quiet can be confusing

English can be confusing when so many words like ‘quiet’ are used as an adjective, noun, and verb.

Here are the different ways you can use the word ‘quiet’ and their different meanings.

Lindsay and Aubrey share short examples as well for each meaning.

#1: Adjective

Meaning 1: This means making little or no noise at all.


  • My car is so quiet that sometimes people step right in front of it.
  • Please be quiet.

Meaning 2: This means being not talkative.


  • My daughter is quiet.
  • You’ve been quiet this morning.

Meaning 3: This can mean being unobtrusive or conservative.


  • She usually wears quiet colors.
  • They prefer quiet decor.

#2: Noun

This can refer to silence or calmness.

In American culture, when someone is quiet, the default is to think something is wrong or they are upset.


  • I need some peace and quiet.
  • The smoke alarm pierced the early morning quiet.

#3: Verb

This means to become calm or still.


  • I was having trouble quieting my kids down.
  • I’m trying to quiet my racing thoughts so I can focus.


Here is a quick roleplay from Lindsay and Aubrey using the vocabulary from today’s episode.

This will help you better understand how to use quiet in different ways in a conversation.

In this scenario, Lindsay and Aubrey are chatting at the park.

Lindsay: I need a bit of quiet. My neighbors are remodeling and the construction has been so loud! (noun)
Aubrey: I hear you! My daughter is usually pretty quiet but today was a different story. (adjective – not talkative)
Lindsay: Oh? Not a quiet day, eh? What happened? (adjective – no noise)
Aubrey: She’s just so talkative and full of energy. I had to quiet her down at the library. (verb)


It’s confusing that in English one word can be a noun, verb and an adjective.

Today’s tips help clarify the use of ‘quiet.’

Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get the difference right away.

Keep practicing and use it to build connections in conversations.

Don’t get overwhelmed by new English vocabulary!

Try new words in your conversations.

What other English words confuse you?

Share it in the comments below.

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