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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: May 2008
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    keep quite or be quite?

    Happy New Year,everyone. I would like you to do me a favour and help me with the following sentence:
    We talked loudly until Miss Green told us to keep quiet/ be quiet.
    My question is about the underlined part of the sentence. Will either "keep quiet" or "be quite" do in this situation? I've checked my Longman dictionary and it tells me that "Quiet!" or "Be quiet!" is used to tell someone, rather rudely, to stop talking or making noise." and that"keep quiet" means "to not say anything, because you do not know anything or because you do not want to tell a secret." On the margin of that page in the dictionary, there is a comment I made perhaps a long time ago, which goes, "From the subtitles of the film Africa Screams, I have noticed that 'Keep quiet!' may be used as an imperative, meaning 'Don't talk any more.' or 'Don't interrupt me! Let me go on!' " But now I can only vaguely remember that the film Africa Screams is an old black and white film and nothing else about it.
    Back to the sentence under discussion, "keep quiet" or "be quiet" is a part of the sentence, rather than a complete sentence. Please tell me whether they both can be used in this situation?
    Last edited by ohmyrichard; 03-Jan-2009 at 05:38.

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    Re: keep quite or be quite?

    to be/keep quiet -- infinitive clause acting as the direct object of "told". Both work.


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