student asking question

What's the difference between "bit" and "a little bit"?

teacher

Native speaker’s answer

Rebecca

"A little bit" and "a bit" are both common phrases used to mean a small amount. It may seem incorrect or unnecessary because the word "bit" already means a piece. However we use the phrase "a little bit" is to emphasize the idea of smallness. While it is more common as a noun phrase (a little bit of food) it can be used adverbially. Ex: I was a little bit sore after running. [I was somewhat sore after running]. The phrase "a bit" on its own can also be used both as a noun and an adverb. Generally the two phrases (a bit and a little bit) are interchangeable with each other. Ex: I had just a bit of cake at the party. = I had just a little bit of cake at the party. Ex: The movie was a bit dull. = The movie was a little bit dull.

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