Writing for Business

Jun 29 2012   1:16PM GMT

There’s a little difference between “little” and “a little”

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

Which is correct?
The project manager frowned and said she was _____ worried that scrutiny of the audit trail would uncover serious accounting issues.
a. a little
b. little

Answer: a

“A little,” in this context means somewhat — the project manager is not terribly worried but still significantly. “Little,” on the other hand, would mean “not much.” In this case, the implication would be that she doesn’t anticipate any significant problems.

This post was inspired by @grammarics’ post about “few” vs. “a few,” which works the same way.

Follow me on Twitter @tao_of_grammar

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