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    #1

    a little

    I'm a little tired.


    Could this kind of 'a little' in fact imply 'very'?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a little

    Only if the context makes it very clear that sarcasm is intended:

    I have been working on this case for twenty hours without a break, so I'm a little tired.

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    #3

    Re: a little

    Chalk up another point for context.

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    #4

    Re: a little

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Only if the context makes it very clear that sarcasm is intended:

    I have been working on this case for twenty hours without a break, so I'm a little tired.

    Then tell me, people. From a psychological point of view, with that kind of context, what do you think makes you choose the word 'little' instead of 'very'?

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    #5

    Re: a little

    Sarcasm

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    #6

    Re: a little

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Sarcasm
    That's one of them, for sure.

    Anything else, tdol?

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    #7

    Re: a little

    'a little' normally means 'not much/very'. If context makes it clear that the opposite is intended, then it is most likely that sarcasm is intended. Or possibly just British understatement. For more psychological insight, you'd need to ask the speaker - or their therapist.

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    #8

    Re: a little

    Understatement! That's the word I was expecting from you.

    And maybe understatement and sarcasm are related to each other, I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    you'd need to ask the speaker.
    Thanks to the advent of the Internet, I can ask many native speakers without visiting them. And that's why I visit this site.

    Thank you!

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    #9

    Re: a little

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka View Post
    And maybe understatement and sarcasm are related to each other, I suppose.
    Not necessarily.

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    #10

    Re: a little

    Not necessarily, but sometimes, I guess (I happened to delete 'often' in that comment).

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