a little accident

loureed4

Senior Member
Spanish
Hello,

A friend of mine has just written an email to me, including this sentence:

"My uncle had a little accident with a flowerpot and he injured his head."

Maybe it is a silly question but "little" sounds awkward to me in this context. It is true that in Spain we say it that way:
<<Spanish deleted>> , but I think it could be said with another word instead of "little" ?

Maybe: "My uncle had an unimportant accident..." ?

Thanks a lot in advance!
 
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  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    To have a little accident is a very comment expression ... and can even be used for a big accident for humorous effect: She had a little accident with the car and we're going to have to buy a new one.

    Little means small, it does not mean unimportant in this context.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Little' is often used this way - and often as a joking way of introducing bad news. 'I've had a little accident with the car.'* I suppose it's like saying "This is nothing really to worry about, but . . ."

    * cross-posted!
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hullo, lou.

    My uncle had a little accident with a flowerpot and she injured his head."
    Who's "she", if I may ask? His wife maybe hit him with the flowerpot? That'd be funny.
    GS
     

    loureed4

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I see, then, I must suppose that the sentence is not right, for what I mean is an unimportant accident, and accident without important consequences.

    Thanks a lot for your replies!
     

    loureed4

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thanks Copyright,

    Can´t I used then "unimportant" as a synonym of "minor" ? How could you say it in a natural way?, for instance: "My wife had a minor accident yesterday in the garden while she planted some rosemary" ? . Does it sound natural in English? Is "little" not appropriate for this context?

    Thanks a lot for your help!! :rolleyes::)
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I would use minor, myself, or maybe small. What you're probably not aware of is that we also refer to children having a "little accident" when they wet their pants (AE). :)

    Unimportant is not that natural to me. That is a quality of the accident, when we usually describe the size.
     
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    loureed4

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thanks Keith and Copyright again for your kind help!!

    So: slight, minor, small.

    Copyright: The children stuff was fun, hehe.

    Sorry if I am a bit annoying but...Does "little" work in the sense I am trying to point out or am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?, hehe.

    THANKS A LOT BOTH!!
     

    loureed4

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    hehe, I guess I have to be careful about saying "I had a little accident yesterday in my garden while I planted..." , won´t I?

    :D
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Hola, lou.

    The way "idiomatic" is used by most native English speaking foreros is different from the use we Italians (and I suspect the Spaniards, too) make of the "corresponding" adjective.
    In Italian we use the word to mean that a certain expression (a sentence, mostly) contains an "idiom", ie a phrase which means something different from the sum of the meanings of the separate words from which it is formed.
    Speakers of English as their mother tongue use "idiomatic" also to mean "typical of the natural speech of a person speaking in their first language".
    So, when, for example, Parla writes "completely idiomatic" she means "perfectly grammatical", "one hundred per cent natural", etc.
    It wasn't easy for me either at the beginning.
    Saludos.

    GS
     
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