little+non-count noun

azz

Senior Member
armenian
a. You won't be able to perform well with that little sleep.
a1. You won't be able to perform well with such little sleep.

(that small amount of sleep)

b. You want to sleep five hours a night. That little sleep won't be sufficient for you.
b1. You want to sleep five hours a night. Such little sleep won't be sufficient for you.


c. You only have two dollars. You can't buy a proper meal in this city with that little money.
c1. You only have two dollars. You can't buy a proper meal in this city with such little money.


Are the above sentences grammatically correct?

I think they work, but are somewhat uncommon.

The sentences are mine.

Many thanks.
 
  • much_rice

    Senior Member
    English - American
    They're all correct, azz :):) .

    I think the forms with "such" are a bit more formal than with "that," but I'd use either myself.


    Also, when spoken aloud the emphasis changes with this use of "that little":

    You can't buy a proper meal in this city with THAT little money (i.e., not enough money)

    But if someone held up tiny fake dollars from the game Monopoly, you might say:

    That LIT-tle money isn't even real. Here, take a full-sized dollar.
     

    azz

    Senior Member
    armenian
    Thank you so much Much_Rice.

    This was really helpful. I hadn't thought of the second case at all. Could I use 'small' instead of 'little' in the second case (i.e. the case of tiny fake dollars)?

    Many thanks.
     

    much_rice

    Senior Member
    English - American
    This was really helpful. I hadn't thought of the second case at all. Could I use 'small' instead of 'little' in the second case (i.e. the case of tiny fake dollars)?
    No problem :) .
    "Little" is more idiomatic in this context, but "small" would still be grammatical.
    The key difference is that the "fake dollars" case is talking about physical size, and the ones you wrote are about quantity (THAT little sleep = such a small amount of sleep). I think this is what's causing the change in emphasis.
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Your examples "such little sleep" and "such little money" don't sound right to me. In "my" English I have to say "so little sleep/money".
    .
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top