A little bit of Spanish is all I need

A little bit of Spanish is all I need

That’s right, folks! Fasten your seat belts or even better, get ready to dance to the rhythm of Spanish vocabulary. Now that you know how to say “Hey mate” in Spanish, you can continue to improve your skills, don’t you? Come on, get ready!

One, two, three, four, five, sorry I can’t stop hearing in my head “Mambo n° 5”. Let’s go again, shall we? We’re going to learn how to say “a little bit of” in Spanish. Unlike English, here Latin American speakers love to use diminutives. And when I say that we love, is that WE LOOOOVE to talk about tiny things, very very small pieces, the small smallest slice of pie, and we could go on and on for hours. It may sound ridiculous, but that’s who we are and you love us for that, right?

How to say “what are you doing” in Spanish?

In English we talk like this

When we are in a restaurant or breaking the bread with friends and family, sometimes we want to try the dish others are having. Curiosity? Jealousy? Gluttony? Maybe altogether. So we talk to someone and we ask them, with merciful eyes:

“Can you give me a little bit of that amazing cookie you’re about to eat? Please?”.

If they are generous, they split the cookie and give you something, but if they are willing to eat the whole thing, sorry pal, no is the answer. Pay attention to this: in English we say “a little bit”, “a bit”, “something” on different occasions. Not an itsy bitsy teenie weenie thing, just as simple as “a little bit”. 

However, in Spanish we talk like this

Yes, we are complicated but also, very passionate. In order to let you know what we are talking exactly, with absolute precision, we will use all sorts of resources to give you a piece of information. That’s the reason why when it comes to measures, we have so many that you will have to come to our continent just to make sure. (And enjoy our sunsets, mountains, people, delicious food, too!). 

When in English we ask for a little bit of time when we are talking on the phone, we say “Can you hang on for a second?” or “Will you wait just a minute?”. Although in Spanish we might say the same thing, we could say instead “¿Podrías esperarme un poco?” (“Would you wait for me a bit?”) or “Esperame un poquito” (“Wait for me a little bit”). AHA, now you see it, it’s small but it makes the difference: the diminutive. We use it all the time, for everything.

In Argentina, we use “un poco” to say “a bit”. When we want to say “a little bit”, we add the tiny particle “-ito” and then we have “poquito”. WARNING! As we have sustantives cathegorized by gender (why God, why) we say “poquito” for “masculine sustantives” and “poquita” for “femenine sustantives”. For instance, if you have a little bit of information, you say “tengo poquita información”, and if you have little time, you say “tengo poquito tiempo”. 

Another ways of saying “a little bit” in Spanish are: “un poquitito” (we add “ito” to “poquito”, it’s baby size!), “un cachito” (sorry, I don’t have a proper translation for this one), “un pedacito” (“a tiny piece”). In countries like Colombia, Costa Rica and Cuba it’s common to say “un poquitico” which I found quite amusing to the ears.

A little bit in Spanish

To sum up, now you can say “a little bit” in Spanish and its variants. In addition, you can remember that we use diminutives when we speak fondly of someone. For example, you can watch this beautiful video about Evita Perón’s story, a significant female leader in Argentina:

Do not forget: give a little bit or sólo un poquito, it’s all in your hands, amigues!

If you want to know more Spanish, contact Wanderlust Spanish and take your Spanish trial class today!

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People love us!

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Wanderlust was my second home during my 5 months living in Buenos Aires. I got to know Argentina through this amazing school and experiences while studying with my professor, Vicky.

- Rich