with adjectives and adverbs
to some extent; fairly
I'm pretty sure I'll be going.
The game was pretty good.
It's pretty hard to explain.
I'm going to have to find a new apartment pretty soon.
That performance was pretty impressive.
Things are looking pretty good!
almost; almost completely
One dog looks pretty much like another to me.
to be in a good situation, especially when others are not
especially of a woman, or a girl
attractive without being very beautiful
a pretty face
a pretty little girl
You look so pretty in that dress!
of places or things
attractive and pleasant to look at or to listen to without being large, beautiful or impressive
a pretty garden
a pretty name
She laughed prettily.
The rooms are simply but prettily furnished.
the prettiness of youth
used to emphasize that you have particular skills or qualities
‘I didn't know you could play the piano.’ ‘I'm not just a pretty face, you know!’
not pleasant to look at
You should have seen him in his swimming trunks─not a pretty sight!
a lot of money
to reach a sad or difficult state
These words all describe people who are pleasant to look at.
(especially of a woman or girl) very pleasant to look at
She looked stunningly beautiful that night.
(especially of a girl or woman) pleasant to look at
She's got a very pretty face.
Pretty is used most often to talk about girls. When it is used to talk about a woman, it usually suggests that she is like a girl, with small, delicate features.
(of a man) pleasant to look at; (of a woman) pleasant to look at, with large strong features rather than small delicate ones
He was described as ‘ tall, dark and handsome ’.
(of a person) pleasant to look at, especially in a sexual way
She's a very attractive woman.
(of a person) beautiful; very attractive
She looked particularly lovely that night.
When you describe sb as lovely , you are usually showing that you also have a strong feeling of affection for them.
(of a person) pleasant to look at, often in a sexual way
She arrived with a very good-looking man.
( informal ) (of a person) extremely attractive, especially in a sexual way
You look gorgeous!
attractive or good-looking?
If you describe sb as attractive you often also mean that they have a pleasant personality as well as being pleasant to look at; good-looking just describes sb's physical appearance.
Look at these examples.
The exam was fairly difficult.
The exam was quite difficult.
The exam was rather difficult.
Quite is a little stronger than fairly and rather is a little stronger than quite . Rather is not very common in NAmE ; pretty has the same meaning and this is used in informal BrE too.
The exam was pretty difficult.
In BrE quite has two meanings.
(= fairly tired ). With adjectives that describe an extreme state (‘non-gradable’ adjectives) it means ‘completely’ or ‘absolutely’.
I feel quite exhausted.
With some adjectives, both meanings are possible. The speaker’s stress and intonation will show you which is meant.
(= fairly good─it could be better ).
(= very good, especially when this is unexpected ).
In NAmE quite usually means something like ‘very’, not ‘fairly’ or ‘rather’. Pretty is used instead for this sense.