a little bit + (noun) or (adjective) ?

sb70012

Senior Member
Azerbaijani/Persian
Hello teachers,

I know what a little bit is. As far as I know, after (a little bit) we use (adjective)

For example: a little bit hard - a little bit old - a little bit tired

I want to know whether we can use a (noun) after a little bit or not.

For example: a little bit water - a little bit oil - a little bit anger = (are these correct or not?)

I know that if we want to use it with a noun, we should use (of) = a little bit of water

But I just want to whether after (a little bit) we can use a noun or only adjective?

(I searched it in the search box and I found some posts related to a little and a little bit, but
they were not realated to my question)

Many thanks in advance.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You can't use "a little bit water" in an ordinary statement, but it sounds fine if add the word "of" to the phrase: a little bit of water.

    I've heard people use "a little bit + noun" in song lyrics when they used a noun or noun phrase adjectivally: I'm a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock and roll. However, that construction is odd and has no place in normal language. You might consider it a possibility if you are trying to be poetic or lyrical.
     
    Last edited:

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    It is also possible to say 'a little + noun.'
    For example, 'The sauce is thicker if you add a little cream'.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Hello again teachers,

    Can (a little bit) be used at the last of a sentence or not?

    Look at my example: Would you please explain it a little bit?

    Can that structure be correct or not?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "A little bit" is not wrong in itself, and it could go at the end of the sentence, but it sounds just a little childish.
    "A bit" is colloquial: "Does it hurt?" - "Yes, a bit". In more formal English that would be "Yes, a little."
    "Yes, a little bit" is something a child would say, or an adult who didn't mind sounding twee. (Others may disagree.) In any case, it is colloquial. I could say but not write something like: "A little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down."
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Thanks for answering Velisarious, but what do you think of my example?

    Would you please explain it a little bit?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Would you please explain it a little bit?

    If I heard you say that, it would sound fine. To see it written down, if it were written by a native speaker I would have to say it looked a bit childish. "A little" and "a bit" both mean more or less the same thing. If you use both, one of them is redundant, in my opinion.
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    You said that ( a little bit) is childish and colloquial. What if after that comes an adjective? (is it childish then or it's childish when it comes at the end?)

    I mean have you ever seen (a little bit) in formal writings or formal speakings or not? For example, suppose that the boss says: "The project is a little bit hard for us" = (is it ok or again it's colloquial or childish?)

    Thank you.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Your examples in post #1 with adjectives don't sound very likely to me. For example, I wouldn't normally say "it's a little bit hard". "A little bit old, a little bit tired" sound even more improbable to me, though I'm sure you could find examples of them somewhere.

    I would be very surprised to hear a boss say that the project is "a little bit hard for us". It would sound childish or non-native. I don't know what a boss would say, but I might say "this is going to be a bit difficult", or "rather difficult".
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I wouldn't, sb. I mean if I were the Chancellor of the Exchequer I wouldn't say: "In this budget the government is raising the tax on tobacco a little bit." If I had to write a report I wouldn't write: "Sales this month fell a little bit." If I were writing an essay I wouldn't write: "James Joyce's prose is a little bit hard to understand".
     

    sb70012

    Senior Member
    Azerbaijani/Persian
    Now I completely understood it. Thank you so much Velisarius.
    Your examples were great.
     
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