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Help with various ways of expressing "few" in Mandarin

I have come across several words to express "a little" or "few". Are there any differences between the following words, or are they interchangeable?


1. 少
2. 梢
3. 些
4. 有一点

Additional Details:

I made a mistake, number 2 should read: 稍

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Other



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    “有一点” can also be pronounced as “有点” 。In my opinion, “有点” appears a bit more frequently, because when the character “一” means the amount of “one”, it is often eliminated, especially when the amount of one is already implied in the noun that it is modifying.

    有一点 is an adverb that is most often used before unpleasant expressions. For example, if you want to say “the weather is a little unusual this year” you would say “今年天气有一点反常”。If you wanted to say “this bowl of soup is a bit salty” you would say “这碗汤有一点咸”。

    However, 有点can also be used to describe a small change, and can be used with negative or positive changes. For example if you wanted to describe a plant turning “slightly” red, or somebody’s personality changing “somewhat”, you would use “有一点” to describe these changes.

    As an adjective,“少” (few) is the opposite of “多” (many). It can be used to say that an amount is few, for example if there aren’t many Chinese people living in your area you would say that Chinese in your area are “很少”. However, 少can in fact extend to many usages of the words “few” and “little” in English. For example, if you wanted to say “I see little of him”, or “wait a little while”, you can also use 少to describe these things

    些is strictly used with nouns to say that there are “some” or a “few” of any given noun.

    稍 is used to modify verbs and adjectives, making them “slight” verbs or adjectives, and unlike 有点, doesn't have an negative connotations. It is also used to describe locality, such as if you wanted to say “her head is slightly tilted to the right”, you would use 稍. 稍 is also used when giving a warning to someone, such as "if you're just a little bit careless (something bad will happen)."

    when you mean few ,you can use these words,like 稍微,稍稍,少,少许,少量,一点儿,一丁点,一点点。


    少 is likely to be a adj, few. For example 比什么少。苹果很少。
    those tend to be adv. You could say 少一点,少一些,稍微少一点。


    1. 少 means few/little rather than A few/little
    e.g. There are few apples/little water on the table. = 桌上苹果/水很少.
    Note: 少 is rarely used alone. Instead, it's preceded by 很 most of the time, like many other adjectives.

    2. 稍 is an adverb = "a little"
    He is a little fatter than me. = 他比我稍胖.

    3. 些
    Actually 些 is always use in 有些, 有一些 or 一些. = a few/little, rather than few/little
    There are A few apples/little water on the table. = 桌上有些苹果/水.
    A few people didn't come. = 有些人没来.

    4. 有一点
    It can be used either as an adjective(=a few/little) or an adverb(= a little).

    when it comes to Chinese it's better to express your own complete sentences than separate words
    explaining the difference between 少 and 一点 turns to retelling the dictionary

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