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WordReference Collins English Usage © 2019
bit
‘bit’
A bit is a small amount or a small part of something.
There's a bit of cake left.
He found a few bits of wood in the garage.
‘a bit’
A bit means ‘to a small degree’.
She looks a bit like her mother.
He was a bit deaf.
Be careful
Don't use ‘a bit’ with an adjective in front of a noun. Don't say, for example, ‘He was a bit deaf man’.
Adverbs and adverbials (for a graded list of words used to indicate degree)
‘a bit of’
In conversation and in less formal writing, you can use a bit of in front of a and a noun. You do this to make a statement seem less extreme.
Our room was a bit of a mess too.
His question came as a bit of a shock.
‘a bit’ and ‘one bit’ with negatives
You can add a bit or one bit at the end of a negative statement to make it stronger.
I don't like this one bit.
She hadn't changed a bit.
‘not a bit’
You can use not a bit in front of an adjective to emphasize that someone or something does not have a particular quality. For example, if you say you are not a bit hungry, you mean you are not hungry at all.
They're not a bit interested.
I wasn't a bit surprised by the news.
‘for a bit’
For a bit means ‘for a short period of time’.
She was silent for a bit.
Why can't we stay here for a bit?
'a bit' also found in these entries:
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