Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Sep 2014
    • Posts: 709
    #1

    just a few =negative?

    Hi,

    ''Only a little" and "only a few" have a negative meaning: Hurry up! We only have a little time.

    The source: Grammar in use-Reference and Practice for Intermediate by Raymond Murphy (p. 164)

    I'd like to ask if we can use 'just' in the same meaning or not: Hurry up! We just have a little time.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Academic
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,767
    #2

    Re: just a few =negative?

    No, you can't say,"We just have a little time." You have to use 'only'.

    These terms don't always have a negative meaning. It depends what the subject is.
    A: "How many times did the dog bite you?!"
    B: "Only a few."
    A: "Your leg's bleeding. Does it hurt?"
    B: "Only a little." (You can say "Just a little" here; but I'd stick with 'only'.)

  3. Senior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Sep 2014
    • Posts: 709
    #3

    Re: just a few =negative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, you can't say,"We just have a little time."
    Is it impossible to say that sentence? I've confused because the dictionary says that 'only' and 'just' are synonymous. (http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/just)

    Just (=syn only): nothing more than the thing, amount, action etc that you are mentioning: Can you wait just a few minutes?

    I cannot understand why.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Academic
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,767
    #4

    Re: just a few =negative?

    You don't know that dictionary synonyms are not necessarily (or even usually) interchangeable, after being here for so long?
    You can't say "Can you wait only a few minutes?" instead of 'just' either.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] affirmative, negative and affirmative with negative meaning sentences.
    By johnbythesea in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Sep-2015, 12:29
  2. [Grammar] negative + either.... or
    By tom3m in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Aug-2012, 15:08
  3. The Negative of Got used to :)
    By Ghaith_90 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-May-2008, 18:54
  4. Ought To (negative)
    By beachboy in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 25-Jan-2008, 00:41
  5. Negative+negative = positive?
    By belly_ttt in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 30-Sep-2007, 09:02

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •