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    #1

    a little / not a lot of

    Hello,

    How can I explain that the sentences below have different meaning?

    (a) Most internet users spend a little time window shopping online.
    (b) Most internet users don't spend a lot of time window shopping online.

    not a lot of might imply a little, but may also imply 'some' or 'enough" - is that the right way to go?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a little / not a lot of

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    How can I explain that the sentences below have different meaning?

    (a) Most internet users spend a little time window shopping online.
    (b) Most internet users don't spend a lot of time window shopping online.

    not a lot of might imply a little, but may also imply 'some' or 'enough" - is that the right way to go?
    The phrase "a little" means "more than none." I have a little money saved up. I spend a little time window shopping. The emphasis is that, while it's not a huge amount, it does exist to some extent. It emphasizes that it's more than zero.

    The phrase "not a lot" emphasizes that while there is some, it's not a huge amount. I don't have a lot of money saved up. I don't spend a lot of time window shopping. Yes, there is some, but not much. It emphasizes that it's not a large number.

    Of course, all these things are relative. If a millionaire said "I didn't spend much money on this necklace" and it was $12,000, the statement would seem odd to me.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
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    #3

    Re: a little / not a lot of

    Thanks, BarbD.

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