“You have quite an impressive background.”

English Lesson: You have quite an impressive background.

You are hiring a new staff member at work. You are interviewing a candidate for the job. You look at the candidate's resume and think that she has a great education and work experience. You say this to praise her.

You have quite an impressive background.

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quite a (something)

"Quite" is an adverb that means something similar to "very". It's perhaps a little lower in strength than "very".

If you're using "quite" with an adjective, you say "quite ___":

I'm quite hungry.

If you're using it with a noun, you say "quite a ___" or "quite an ___":

It's quite a useful book.

You have quite an impressive background.

"Quite" is an intelligent- or sophisticated-sounding word. Some people who want to seem intelligent use "quite" more, while people who want to seem more "down to earth" use other words like "really ___" or "real":

You must really have a sense of accomplishment.

impressive (something)

The word "impressive" describes an accomplishment that you think is good, which not many people are able to do.

You were able to cook all that in less than an hour? That's impressive!

You can use "impressive" to sincerely praise someone. It's a little formal.

"Impressive" is usually used to describe the things that people have done, rather than the people themselves. Some common words that "impressive" is used with are:

  • an impressive performance
  • an impressive list of achievements
  • impressive results

have a (adjective) background (in something)

Your background is your personal history. It includes where you were born, what kind of family you grew up in, where you went to school, and what jobs you've had.

The phrase "have a __ background" is often used in business to describe a person's work and education history. You can use different positive adjectives to describe a person's background:

He has a strong background in publishing.

We're looking for someone who has an extensive background in biology.

In both of these examples, "in ___" was used to tell the area or field of the person's background.