INTERMEDIATE - GRAMMAR


LITTLE / A LITTLE

We usually use little to mean 'not much.'
We usually use a little to mean 'a small amount' or 'some.'

A LITTLE
==>She is a little girl. (=a young girl / a small girl)
==>It is a little dog. (= a small dog)

We often use 'a little' with 'only.' When we use 'only' with 'a little' the meaning usually becomes 'not much.'
==>I've only got a little time before I have to go to work. (= I've only got a few minutes/not much time)

We often use 'a little' with 'bit.'
==>I've got a little bit of money. (= a few dollars/some money)
==>I've got a little bit of time. (= a few minutes/hours/days / some time)

LITTLE
She has little time. (= not much time)
She has little money. (= not much money)
She has little regard for the laws of this country. (= not much regard/she doesn't care about the laws)
She has little idea of how to talk to a group of people. (= not much idea how to talk to a group)

LITTLE AND A LITTLE
They are quite similar, but usually
little is more negative
a little is more positive.