had a bit of surgery

susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
Hi,

If you want to tell someone something like "I was in the hospital for a few days. I had a bit of surgery," is there a better way to phrase the last part? I only got 3 results on Google for "had a bit of surgery" and if I say "had surgery" I kind of have to explain further what kind of surgery it was, and I'd rather just say "surgery" and nothing else.

I appreciate your suggestions. Thank you!
 
  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "A bit of surgery" is possible in BrE. "I had a bit of surgery" is rather colloquial and suggests that the speaker wants to downplay the seriousness of the situation or that the speaker wants to appear 'tough'. In a formal context, you would not use this wording.
     
    Last edited:

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I can't speak for Romania, but in the U.S., any surgery requiring that the patient spend "a few days" in the hospital is not in the realm of "minor surgery."
     

    joanvillafane

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    I agree, sdgraham, but I think susanna wanted to downplay it.
    Once you say, "I was in the hospital for a few days," it might be impossible to avoid further questions about why. ;)
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Thank you all! "Minor surgery" sounds like a more formal alternative to "a bit of surgery" but I agree with sdgraham. I guess I can then say "I had surgery and it went well" :D
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "A bit of surgery" is possible in BrE. "I had a bit of surgery" is rather colloquial and suggests that the speaker wants to downplay the seriousness of the situation or that the speaker wante to appear 'tough'. In a formal context, you would not use this wording.
    but I think susanna wanted to downplay it.
    Indeed, for BE sound shift has it exactly. That is precisely what people say, and I've heard it quite often.
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    'I've had a bit of surgery' almost sounds like 'I've had a bit of work done', which in the context of medical treatment refers to plastic surgery, like a boob job. I'd avoid it.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    If I had cosmetic surgery and I did not want to admit I was so vain, I might say, "I had a bit of surgery", and not elaborate.
     

    LanguageUser1234

    Banned
    English U.S.
    As others have said, I think the use of "a bit of" here is British. I also think that fact may be related to the stereotype (perhaps justified) that British people are given to understatement. For all we know, "a bit of surgery" could be a heart-lung transplant.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top