You are here:

General Writing and Grammar Help/meaning of the word "quit"

Advertisement


Question
Dear Ted,
I know that one definition of the word "quit" is the following: to stop doing something, especially something that is bad. Can "quit" also mean to "stop trying to achieve something"? In other words, does the following sentence make sense?
"I will never quit trying to reach my goal."

Answer
Dear Glen:

I know that one definition of the word "quit" is the following: to stop doing
something, especially something that is bad. Can "quit" also mean to "stop
trying to achieve something"? In other words, does the following sentence make
sense?
"I will never quit trying to reach my goal."

YES.  "Quit" seems to have a negative connotation, because it means "give up."  You are
correct in your quoted sentence:  You have used the negative word "never" to show a positive meaning.  If you NEVER QUIT TRYING, that means something positive.

There are other uses of quit that are also positive and do not refer to "something that is bad" --

I have quit smoking.

When Jane was a little girl, she constantly showed how insecure and nervous she way by playing with her hair.  Now that she has a more positive attitude toward herself, she has quit touching and twisting her hair.

Jack had to quit running marathon races, because he injured his left leg.  

In the three examples above, the word "quit" means "to stop."  When we stop doing things, our "inaction" can really be positive.

Ted  

General Writing and Grammar Help

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

Experience

I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.