- a\ little
noun or adjA small amount (of); some. - Usually "a little" is different in meaning from "little", which emphasizes the negative; "a little" means "some"; but "little" means "not much". We sayBut we say,
"We thought that the paper was all gone, but a little was left."Also, we say,
"We thought we still had a bag of flour, but little was left."But we say,
"Bob was sick yesterday, but he is a little better today."Sometimes "a little" is used with "only", and then it is negative.
"Bob was sick yesterday, and he is little better today."
We thought we had a whole bag of flour, but only a little was left.
We have used most of the sugar; but a little is left.
We did not eat all the cake; we saved a little of it for you.
I'm tired; I need a little time to rest.
Where is the paper? I need a little more.- Often used like an adverb.
Usually the teacher just watched the dancing class, but sometimes she danced a little to show them how.
The children wanted to play a little longer.- Sometimes used with "very" for emphasis.
The sick girl could not eat anything, but she could drink a very little tea.Syn.: a bitCompare: a few Contrast: a lot, quite a little
Словарь американских идиом. — СПб., Изд-во "Лань". Оригинал: A.Маккей, М.Т.Боткер, Дж.И.Гейтс. 1997.
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