The Pre-determiners SUCH, WHAT, RATHER & QUITE



These words are normally placed before the indefinite article.

So, such and what

So, such and what are often used to express surprise or other emotions.
We often use 'so' , 'such' and 'what' to mean 'very' or 'really'. It makes the sentence stronger and shows that there is a high level of something.

We use 'so' before an adjective or adverb (without a noun).

  • She was so beautiful (= she was very beautiful).
  • He ran so quickly (= he ran very quickly).
  • The food was so delicious (= the food was really delicious).
  • The children spoke French so well (= the children spoke French very well).

We use 'such' and 'what' before a noun or an adjective + a noun.


  • What a lovely day!
  • She's such a lovely woman!
  • What an incredible film!
  • He's such a fantastic guitarist!
When we use 'such' directly with a noun, it's often a noun that shows our opinion.
  • He's such a genius! (= he's a real genius / he's very clever).
  • You're such a teacher! (= you act in a typical way for a teacher).

Rather and quite

Rather and quite are 'commenting' words, referring to the degree of a particular quality.
They can express disappointment, pleasure, or other emotions, and are used before a/an + adjective + noun:


  • It's rather a small car. (= I'm a bit disappointed because it's small)
  • It was quite a nice day.(= I was agreeably surprised.)
  • He's had quite a bad accident. (= I'm worried)
  • I've just met rather a nice man. (= I'm pleased)