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    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #1

    "a bit," "a little" and "a little bit"

    Hello.

    This soup is too thick. Can you thin it down a bit?
    This soup is too thick. Can you thin it down a little?
    This soup is too thick. Can you thin it down a little bit?

    Do these sound good?

    Thank you.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #2

    Re: "a bit," "a little" and "a little bit"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    This soup is too thick. Can you thin it down a bit?
    This soup is too thick. Can you thin it down a little?
    This soup is too thick. Can you thin it down a little bit?

    Do these sound good?

    Thank you.
    They sound perfect.

    I think they are British ---> American in descending order, but only slightly so.

    I would interchangeably say any one of the three in any context -- even within the same conversation.

    "just a bit" recalls "just a tad," which is a little self-consciously or deliberately funny maybe, or light-hearted.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #3

    Re: "a bit," "a little" and "a little bit"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    This soup is too thick. Can you thin it down a bit?
    This soup is too thick. Can you thin it down a little?
    This soup is too thick. Can you thin it down a little bit?

    Do these sound good?

    Thank you.
    I've never thought of thinning down soup. I would say "thin out".

    Other than that, yes, they sound good.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #4

    Re: "a bit," "a little" and "a little bit"

    Can you thin it down a bit?
    Isn't it okay to use down here because "thin something down" means "to make a liquid less thick or strong by adding water or another substance"?

    thin
    verb
    LIQUID
    1 [vn] ~ sth (down) (with sth) to make a liquid less thick or strong by adding water or another substance:
    Thin the paint with water.

    OF HAIR
    2 to become less thick:
    a middle-aged man with thinning hair

    BECOME LESS THICK
    3 ~ (sth) (out) to become less thick or fewer in number; to make sth less thick or fewer, for example by removing some things or people: [v] The clouds thinned and the moon shone through. The crowd had thinned out and only a few people were left. Global warming could be accelerated due to the thinning of the ozone layer. [vn] Thin out the seedlings to about 10cm apart.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #5

    Re: "a bit," "a little" and "a little bit"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Can you thin it down a bit?
    Isn't it okay to use down here because "thin something down" means "to make a liquid less thick or strong by adding water or another substance"?

    thin
    verb
    LIQUID
    1 [vn] ~ sth (down) (with sth) to make a liquid less thick or strong by adding water or another substance:
    Thin the paint with water.

    OF HAIR
    2 to become less thick:
    a middle-aged man with thinning hair

    BECOME LESS THICK
    3 ~ (sth) (out) to become less thick or fewer in number; to make sth less thick or fewer, for example by removing some things or people: [v] The clouds thinned and the moon shone through. The crowd had thinned out and only a few people were left. Global warming could be accelerated due to the thinning of the ozone layer. [vn] Thin out the seedlings to about 10cm apart.

    I don't think anyone would notice "down."

    I think I probably usually say "thin it out."

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