small/little effort

Marial79

New Member
Italian
HI everybody,

I would like to know the difference between : a small effort/ a little effort
<< Second question needs its own thread. :) >>


Thanks

Maria Laura
 
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  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Maria Laura. People will give you better answers if you can provide some context for your first question. Please write a couple of sentences or quote a couple of sentences that use "a small effort" or "a little effort". If you you quote something, please give us the source of your quotes. Thank you.

    You should ask your second question in a separate thread. Each thread must focus on one particular language question.
     

    Marial79

    New Member
    Italian
    Hello, Maria Laura. People will give you better answers if you can provide some context for your first question. Please write a couple of sentences or quote a couple of sentences that use "a small effort" or "a little effort". If you you quote something, please give us the source of your quotes. Thank you.

    You should ask your second question in a separate thread. Each thread must focus on one particular language question.





    HI Owlman,
    thanks a lot for answering. The problem is that the sentences are part of the same context.
    In order to quote the sentence, I will have to refer to the second question as well.
    The full sentence is:
    " you are right, it's an odd approach but I did test my capability (capabilities) of doing things with a small (little) effort"
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thank you, Maria Laura. I'd use "with little effort" if you mean to say that it wasn't hard to test your abilities. Notice there's no article in that phrase with that meaning. If you mean to say that you made some special, small effort to test your abilities, either "with a small effort" or "with a little effort" would work: "You are right. It's an odd approach, but I did test my ability to do things with little effort/with a little effort."
     

    Marial79

    New Member
    Italian
    Thank Owlman5,

    but it's still not clear. Why would you use one instead of the other? I meant to say that I didn't make a big effort on purpose: I did a test while watching TV. Could I still stick with A small effort?
    About capability/ capabilities? In this case it seems that just the plural form is the problem when I have found that "capability of doing things" is acceptable.

    Thank you :)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thanks for the clarification, Maria Laura. In that case, I'd use "with little effort". You could use "with a little effort", but the article is needless and could cause others to give your sentence a meaning that you did not intend. This confusion would be particularly likely if you used "with a small effort".
     
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    Marial79

    New Member
    Italian
    Thank Owlman5,

    but it's still not clear. Why would you use one instead of the other? I meant to say that I didn't make a big effort on purpose: I did a test while watching TV. Could I still stick with A small effort?
    About capability/ capabilities? In this case it seems that just the plural form is the problem when I have found that "capability of doing things" is acceptable.

    Thank you :)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I would use "with little effort" to mean that it wasn't hard for me to do. I would use "with a small effort" in your sentence only if I wanted to tell people that I made a small, particular effort to do this. Others may not agree with me, Maria Laura, so you should collect a few opinions and choose the solution you like best.
     

    Marial79

    New Member
    Italian
    Thanks thanks, it's clear now. I did post again the same thread by mistake!
    I would make a new one for capability/ capabilities :)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    As capability = the ability to do things, I have omitted your “to do things” and, for brevity, I have omitted “it's an odd approach”. This leaves,

    "You are right, but I did test my capability with a small effort" – you used the “small effort” as the test.
    "You are right, but I did test my capability with a little effort" – you expended a little effort throughout the test.
    "You are right, but I did test my capability with little effort" – you tested your capabilities without any noticeable effort.
    "You are right, but I did test my capability with small effort." – doesn’t work.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    :D Then: "You are right, but I did test my capability by putting in a little effort/by exerting myself a little." (We do not know what the "things" were.)
     

    Marial79

    New Member
    Italian
    Thanks to you both. The person I was writing to , knows what the things are but I am satisfied with the answers I've got. No one is pointing out the difference between capability/ capabilities so I guess it doesn't make a big difference.
     
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