Correct usage of A LITTLE :
LITTLE, A LITTLE & THE LITTLE
: (adjective) : small, especially, in a way that is attractive or produces sympathy
1. I live in a little house.
2. What a nice little garden!
3. She sat for a little while.
4. The little things of life have to be sorted out.
LITTLE often suggests something that is pleasantly small.
1. I used to sing and dance when I was a little girl.
2. I'd like to have a little house of my own.
3. It is a little house.
4. It is my own little house.
5. It is a small house.
6. It is a small house. I do not like to live here.
: the difference between LITTLE and SMALL
LITTLE is not SMALL.
LITTLE gives a sense of pleasure and SMALL doesn't.
LITTLE : (adverb) : (less, least) - to only a small degree - a little-known fact
1. I go there very little.
2. There is little hope of an agreement being reached.
3. Would you like some more tea? - Just a little
4. He speaks a little Hindi.
5. They little thought that the truth would be discovered.
They little thought - They did not think
: (also a little bit) - to some degree rather
1. I was not a little annoyed. (I was rather really annoyed.)
2. The average MLA has little real power.
Note : without articles, few and little usually have rather negative meaning
They mean….not as much as one would like and not as many as one would like or similar ideas
1. I have little influence over ministers.
(little: almost nil)
Few can speak English well.
(few : not many (negative sense)
But A FEW and A LITTLE are more positive in their meaning.
The meaning is closer to SOME.
a few = not very many
a little = not very much
1. Would you like a little coffee?
2. You don't need to go shopping.
3. There are a few eggs and I have a little bread and cheese.
4. The Relativity Theory is very difficult. Few people can understand it.
5. Though the theory is rather difficult, there are a few people who can understand the same.
6. Only a few people are very honest in money transactions.
Sum up : Little - not much - hardly any
A little - Some, though not much
- not much, but all there is.
1. There is little hope of my wife's recovery. (She is not likely to recover.)
2. There is a little hope of my wife's recovery.
a little hope - some hope
(She may possibly recover - she is likely to recover)
1. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
2. The little experience he had, had helped him to get a fine job.
3. The little experience - the experience is not much - but all the same it was there.
Correct usage of A LITTLE
Correct usage of A LITTLE To HOME PAGE
The Grammar Index