In one of the questions in another lesson, bastante was used as 'fairly'.
Does anyone know, if i wanted to say "is a lamp good enough", would I just need to add question marks to the same spanish sentence? I appreciate it's a bizarre sentence out of context, I'm just wondering. (possible context: "You need to buy her a present". "Hmmm. Is a lamp good enough?")
Agreed, and that sentence actually means that the lamp isn't very pretty, but it's not ugly per se, and at least it does the job. But "It is a good enough lamp" to me is terrible English, and should be restructured. (Well, the nice variant isn't great either, but it's good enough...)
I found out yesterday on another discussion, that there is a marked difference in the meaning of "quite" in US and British English. In British English, "quite" is used to mean "adequate, fairly, averagely" and "bastante" is actually a fairly (quite) good translation to the British meaning of "quite". In US English "quite" has a much stronger and more positive emphasis, and "muy" would be a better translation for "quite".
For example, in the UK if your boss says your work is "quite good" he probably means that it's just acceptable, and he thinks you should do better. Likewise, it's not a good idea to tell a British girl that you think she's quite pretty... it really is damning with faint praise....
I'd semi-disagree with you. From my experience, "quite" is definitely not the same as "very". Quite good often does infer a lower level to very - more along the lines of "it's alright".
Regarding your girlfriends, that's a modesty thing. Brits have a habit of down-playing achievements and other self-related things, unlike Americans. Because of this, especially when referring to people, "quite" can take on more positive connotations than normal; "she's quite pretty" is not the same as "your work is quite good". In social situations we're modest; businesses are more blunt.
Then there's "quite a lot". No-one knows how much quite a lot is, and if they tell you they do they're lying.
I think you might just be missing the hidden language that women expect all men to know. Imagine the following scenario just before a night out with the wife/girlfriend:
She: "do I look ok in this?"
He: "yes, you look quite pretty"
She: "oh great! Thanks for that!"
She then goes off in a huff to change into something else...
Ahhh, I see your thinking now. Fair point, under certain circumstances "quite" might carry that intention.
However, I think "quite delightful" is an exception to the general rule. I can imagine Noel Coward saying that while stood by the grand piano, but if I said that to my missus she'd think I was taking the p*ss. :-)
About 4 questions ago I translated "La cocina es bastante bonita" as "The kitchen is pretty enough," which was accepted--but an alternate provided was "The kitchen is nice enough." Which is why I used that form here, only to be told it's wrong, and the translation and the alternate only accept "fairly" ---- Grrrrrr!!! This entire adverb section is killing me and duolingo's inconsistency is playing a large part in this.