a little bit or a few bits

firee818

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi, 'bit' is countable noun, why we have to add 'a little' not 'a few'?

e.g. I am sure you would not mind because it was like having you there with me a little bit/a few bits.

Thank you.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    What I would say: I'm sure you wouldn't mind because it would be a little (bit) like having you there with me.

    Since I don't know the timing or the context, I don't know if the verb tenses are correct.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Hi, 'bit' is countable noun, why we have to add 'a little' not 'a few'?

    e.g. I am sure you would not mind because it was like having you there with me a little bit/a few bits.

    Thank you.
    "A little bit" is singular. In your sentence "a little bit" is a short way of saying "for a little bit of time" (for a small amount of time). It is not talking about multiple separate pieces of time: just one. The sentence could also say "a bit", without "little", and have the same meaning. Adding "little" emphasizes the smallness: "a little bit" is smaller than "a bit".

    Since your sentence is ambiguous, you also might mean "a little bit like having you there". Again, the meaning is singular: one small amount.

    "Bit" is also used in the plural, when we mean "more than one small piece". One common expression is "bits and pieces", meaning a random assortment of small and large pieces.
     
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