a bit / a little/a few

Raiden

New Member
Spanish
Hola, me gustaría saber en qué casos se puede utilizar a bit o a little bit, puesto que a few o a little se utiliza para contables o incontables, pero en el caso de "a (little) bit" qué concierne? Cuáles son las normas de su uso?
Todas estas expresiones significan "un poco", pero en este último caso, no sé utilizarlo, ¿alguien me puede ayudar?
 
  • Peterdg

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Bueno, "a (little) bit", puedes utilizar con cosas incontables: "a little bit of water". No puedes decir "a few water*".

    "a (little) bit" corresponde al español "un poco de" mientras que "few" corresponde a "poco(s)".

    "There are only few beers" = "Sólo hay pocos cervezas".

    "There is only a bit of beer" = "Sólo hay un poco de cerveza".
     

    elprofe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Bueno, "a (little) bit", puedes utilizar con cosas incontables: "a little bit of water". No puedes decir "a few water*".

    "a (little) bit" corresponde al español "un poco de" mientras que "few" corresponde a "poco(s)".

    "There are only few beers" = "Sólo hay pocas cervezas".

    "There is only a bit of beer" = "Sólo hay un poco de cerveza".
    Aunque la oración no me suena bien, supongo que será correcta gramaticalmente...
     

    elprofe

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    jajaja :)
    Hablaba de la oración en castellano... para mí "sólo hay pocas cervezas" no suena nada bien...
    La oración en inglés (there are only few beers) me suena totalmente natural...
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    How about "Hay sólo unas cuantas cervezas"? Or maybe "Ya nos quedan pocas cervezas" (although that changes the meaning a bit).
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    ¿Cuál oración? La inglesa o la española? (y lo de pocos/pocas: es debido a las cervezas:D)
    I think the problem is with the adverb sólo/only. I wouldn't use it without the indefinite article. And I think it is the same in Spanish as in English.
    Hay (muy) pocas cervezas = there are (very) few beers.
    Sólo hay unas pocas/unas cuantas cervezas = There are only a few beers.
     

    Raiden

    New Member
    Spanish
    Entonces "a bit" sería lo mismo que decir "a little"?
    Tanto uno como otro según he entendido se utilizan para incontables, así que se podrían poner en los mismos casos?
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    Entonces "a bit" sería lo mismo que decir "a little"?
    Tanto uno como otro según he entendido se utilizan para incontables, así que se podrían poner en los mismos casos?
    Por regla general, sí, así es la cosa. Cuando se usa antes de un sustantivo, "a bit" requiere la preposición of: I have a bit of a problem.

    Pero hay muchos casos en los cuales no se usan de la misma manera. Por ejemplo:

    -Can you stay a while?
    -Yeah, I have a little time.

    No solemos decir "I have a bit of time." No hay ninguna regla (que yo sepa) que describa cuando uno puede usarse y el otro no.
     

    Raiden

    New Member
    Spanish
    Ok, gracias. Ahora bien, con el few y el little si la frase era positiva se añadía una "a" es decir, se decía "a little" o "a few", mientras que si la frase tenía connotación negativa, la "a" no se ponía. ¿Pasa lo mismo con el "a bit"? Es decir, si la frase tiene connotación negativa se suprime la "a"?
     

    pubman

    Senior Member
    Bueno, "a (little) bit", puedes utilizar con cosas incontables: "a little bit of water". No puedes decir "a few water*".

    "a (little) bit" corresponde al español "un poco de" mientras que "few" corresponde a "poco(s)".

    "There are only few beers" = "Sólo hay pocos cervezas".

    "There is only a bit of beer" = "Sólo hay un poco de cerveza".
    I thought you couldn't have bits of liquid only drops

    Drops of liquid, bits of solids and slurry's a worry
     
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    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    Ok, gracias. Ahora bien, con el few y el little si la frase era positiva se añadía una "a" es decir, se decía "a little" o "a few", mientras que si la frase tenía connotación negativa, la "a" no se ponía. ¿Pasa lo mismo con el "a bit"? Es decir, si la frase tiene connotación negativa se suprime la "a"?
    No, Raiden, no se emplea "bit" sin "a". Por lo tanto "a bit (of)" significa "un poco (de)", pero no se puede decir "bit" para "poco".
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    That's what my grandmother drummed into me, but after being dogmatic in a previous thread, I didn't dare suggest it!

    :)
    What you and pubman say makes perfect sense, seing as " a bit" really means "a piece/a small chunk", but I think a kid is more likely to ask "Mum, can I have a bit of milk?" than "Mum, can I have a drop of milk?" if he doesn't want to be left thirsty.
    By the way, pubman, what do you mean by slurrys/slurries a worry? I can't find it anywhere.
     
    Last edited:

    pubman

    Senior Member
    Hi Inib

    Slurry, a sloppy mixture with small pieces in it.

    It's a worry deciding whether or not slurry is a liquid or a solid.

    A bit of slurry or a drop of slurry?

    I know people often use "bit" with liquids but to me it sounds wrong even though it may be grammatically correct.
     

    gringuitoloco

    Senior Member
    American (awesome) English
    I thought you couldn't have bits of liquid only drops

    Drops of liquid, bits of solids and slurrys a worry
    If you want more than a few drops, but not a lot, you can say a bit of a liquid.

    I just want a little bit of milk to go with my cookies, but if someone were to give me a few drops, I would be quite upset. =)
     

    pubman

    Senior Member
    If you want more than a few drops, but not a lot, you can say a bit of a liquid.

    I just want a little bit of milk to go with my cookies, but if someone were to give me a few drops, I would be quite upset. =)

    Now grinuitoloco I don't wan't you to be upset:)

    You can indeed say a "bit of liquid" if you want to, no problem. In this sense "I'll have a drop of ale" would not literally refer to a 'drop' but to the amount you actuall do want, pint,half or whatever.

    I had a drop left in my glass, does not mean literally a drop.

    Maybe it's a BrE thing, either way I am now going to the pub for a well deserved drop of ale:D
     

    inib

    Senior Member
    British English
    Now grinuitoloco I don't wan't you to be upset:)

    You can indeed say a "bit of liquid" if you want to, no problem. In this sense "I'll have a drop of ale" would not literally refer to a 'drop' but to the amount you actuall do want, pint,half or whatever.

    I had a drop left in my glass, does not mean literally a drop.

    Maybe it's a BrE thing, either way I am now going to the pub for a well deserved drop of ale:D
    Cheers, pubman!
     

    ribran

    Senior Member
    English - American
    Now grinuitoloco I don't wan't you to be upset:)

    You can indeed say a "bit of liquid" if you want to, no problem. In this sense "I'll have a drop of ale" would not literally refer to a 'drop' but to the amount you actuall do want, pint,half or whatever.

    I had a drop left in my glass, does not mean literally a drop.

    Maybe it's a BrE thing, either way I am now going to the pub for a well deserved drop of ale:D
    It must be.

    I wouldn't know what to do if you told me you wanted a drop of some drink. :D
     

    QUEEN LIANE

    New Member
    español mexicano
    Hey tengo dos dudas, la primera es si la palabra rope es contable or incontable?? Es correcto decir:
    - a bit of rope (un poco de cuerda)
    la segunda es si es correcto decir:
    - a few sticks (pocos palos o unos pocos palos)
     

    Wildcat1

    Senior Member
    Amer. English
    Hey tengo dos dudas, la primera es si la palabra rope es contable or incontable??
    Contable: There's a rope attached to the back of the truck and one attached to the front. Both ropes are an inch in diameter.
    Incontable: "You can use rope or you can use wire to attach it to the truck." "OK, I'll use a bit of rope" (como dijiste tú, Liane)
    la segunda es si es correcto decir:
    - a few sticks (pocos palos o unos pocos palos)
    Perfecto...
     
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