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I'd like to to know what type of phrase 'not quite' is. My English Language teacher says it is a mitigated adverbial phrase, but I have no idea. I'm pretty sure it is not mitigated, but partly adverbial due to the use of 'quite'. Please help!

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    Googling, I find no mention of "mitigated adverbial phrase" or "mitigated adverb". I would call it an "adverbial phrase"; I don't know what your teacher means by "mitigated" here. – Peter Shor Jan 11 '14 at 20:17
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    Yeah, I had no idea what she meant either. Thank you! – radicalsss Jan 11 '14 at 20:19
  • @Peter, maybe that teacher, using mitigated, means 'not entirely', so 'not quite', in her/his opinion, would be a 'not entirely adverbial phrase'; who can tell, who know? – Elberich Schneider Jan 11 '14 at 20:22
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    Not quite is a hedged quantifier. It indicates that quantity or quality does not reach a minimum level, though it is close to that level. It's used for processes in action, and refers to increasing the level of the quantified item to reach the minimum during the process. "Not yet; not yet, keep on; not quite, just a little bit more; OK, that's it." – John Lawler Jan 11 '14 at 20:23
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    Hedges are very common. I recommend you read George Lakoff's paper on the subject from CLS 8. The handout to the paper is here. – John Lawler Jan 11 '14 at 20:34
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From John Lawler's comment:

Not quite is a hedged quantifier. It indicates that quantity or quality does not reach a minimum level, though it is close to that level. It's used for processes in action, and refers to increasing the level of the quantified item to reach the minimum during the process. "Not yet; not yet, keep on; not quite, just a little bit more; OK, that's it."

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