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Hello,

I have some problems with the sentences below:

1. You did fairly well in that quiz, you got most of the answers right.
2. He has been sent off the field. Quite fair in my opinion. After all, he really wasn't playing fairly.
3. It's still fairly early, but that's good.
4. Those flowers look lovely. You've aranged them so prettily.

May I also use in sentence 1 and 3 a 'pretty'? I ask, because I have often read these sentences with a 'pretty' instead 'fairly'.

It would be nice if someone might tell me whether the sentences above are correct, and what is the difference between 'fairly' and 'pretty'?

Robert
1 2 3 4
Comments  
Hi!
Let me try...

1. fairly (pretty would be OK) = rather
2. not fairly (pretty not OK) = he cheated, or didn't respect the rules
3. fairly (or pretty) = rather
4. prettily (not fairly) = in a pretty way.

Pretty (adj) can mean nice, beautiful; so can fair: "appealing to the eyes"
Fair (adj) can mean "according to the rules"
Pretty = fairly (adv) in the meaning of rather (but a positive "rather")
Prettily (adv) only means "in a pretty (nice) way"

Does it help?
Hi, and thanks for the fast answer.

So I understood, all the sentences are correct, but I may use pretty in the sentences 1 and 3 as well. What would sound more English, with fairly or with pretty?

Robert
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SORRY, Robert,
I left out "fairly" in the meaning of "accordingly to the rules"...
In 1. you can use both fairly and pretty, I'd say "pretty" sounds more BEnglish.
But you can't use "pretty" in 3., it doesn't mean "rather", it's "accordingly to the rules".
I'm confused now.

Why I cannot use 'fairly' in sentence 3? There are no rules, or did I get anything wrong.
Emotion: embarrassed My mistake again! I mixed up 2. and 3.
Fairly is quite OK in three, you didn't get anything wrong...
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Hello Pieanne

I feel some difference between 'fairly well' and 'pretty well'.
'Fairly well' sounds 'tolerably well but not very well'
'Pretty well' can mean both 'tolerably well' and 'very well'
(??) You did it fairly well! Congratulations!
(OK) You did it pretty well! Congratulations!

paco
I feel the same, that's why I wrote "pretty" is a positive rather. I forgot to say it was "more positive" than "fairly".
Anne de Loup, d'accord!

paco
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