WOTW: little

| - Gorka Dieitz-Sanxurxo |

triplo word of the week - little

 

今週の #WOTW は 'little’ です。’Little’ is mainly an adjective or an adverb, but also a determiner and a pronoun. It’s used in quite a few phrases too. Let us tell you all about it, if you can spare a little time. First, the adjective.

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- Look at how lovely the little flowers are! (Small in size, amount, or degree, often used to convey an appealing diminutiveness or express an affectionate or condescending attitude.)

- We are reading “A Little Princess” at triplo book club this month. (See above.)

- Have you met my little sister? (Of a young or younger person.)

- I think I should like to visit Little Tokyo if I ever go to LA. (Denoting something, especially a place, that is the smaller or smallest of those so named or is named after a similar larger one.)

- Oh, please! Stay for a little while! (Of short distance or duration.)

- I don’t hate him, although I might have a little problem with him. (Relatively unimportant or trivial, often used ironically.)

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Let’s have a look at the determiner and the pronoun now.

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- You seem to have nothing to do and I could use a little help here. (A small amount of.)

- The child promised he would behave, but he started to cry after a little. (A short time or distance.)

- I have little hope, but I’ll apply anyway. (Used to emphasize how small an amount is.)

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Time for the adverb.

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- It smells a little like lemon. Is it lemon? (To a small extent.)

- Lentils are little consumed in Japan. (Only to a small extent; not much or often. Used for emphasis.)

- When things are little discussed or not discussed at all, problems arise. (Hardly or not at all.)

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The phrases, always interesting, come next. Keep in mind that English people like to downplay (or make little of) things when reading these phrases and the way we use them.

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- [quite a little] He says he doesn’t, but after so many years in Japan, he must speak quite a little Japanese. (A fairly large amount of.)

- [quite a little] It was quite a little storm. (A considerable.)

- [quite the little —] Look at you! If you haven’t become quite the gentleman. (Used as a condescending or ironic recognition that someone has a particular quality or accomplishment.)

- [no little] We must have live music at the reception. That is of no little importance. (Considerable.)

- [little by little] I know it’s hard. But if you keep at it, you’ll become better little by little. (By degrees, gradually.)

- [not a little] COVID has caused not a little trouble. (A great deal of, much.)

- [not a little] It was not a little shocking to discover the truth. (Very.)

- [make little of] He always makes little of his impressive accomplishments. (Treat as unimportant.)

- [little or nothing] I have little of nothing to complain about my children. They’re really nice. (Hardly anything.)

- [in little] Her poems reflect the greatest philosophical questions of our time in little. (On a small scale, in miniature.)

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発音は/ˈlɪt(ə)l/です。音節は2個です。たから、後ろに「ル」を言わないで下さい。また来週!

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