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  5. "Tu peux mettre un tout petit…

"Tu peux mettre un tout petit peu d'ail."

Translation:You can put in a tiny little bit of garlic.

April 13, 2018



so what is the difference between un peu petit, and un tout petit peu.....?


I gather from some poking around that 'tout' translates as 'just' in this case: "a little bit" versus "just a little bit".


What does 'tout' do to the meaning of this sentence? Anyone know?


See my response to Mike14621462. "Un tout petit peu de" is a quantifier, and on a continuum of "larger to smaller" of related quantifiers, expresses a smaller quantity. "Tout" expresses the totality, the entirety, of the "smallness".

[deactivated user]

    Is "You can put on a little bit of garlic" acceptable?


    Not today on 30 Apr 2018. It would seem that if one is making garlic bread that is what would be said.


    Still not accepted as of 23 January 2019.


    So, what, 4 cloves?


    I cannot put a little bit of garlic in anything. Garlic is only measured in entire cloves.


    Your love of garlic is evidenced by the quantity you advocate using. Some of us may finely dice a clove and just put a little bit in, maybe half a clove, but of course the size of the meal being made will determine how much garlic is added.


    "You can put a little bit of garlic in" Doesn't work?


    I think the point of tout is to turn "a little bit" into "a tiny bit". So it's a little bit smaller than little, if that makes sense.


    There is no indication as to whether it should be on or in, I think that either should be acceptable.


    What is the function of 'tout' in this sentence?


    Below is a list of quantifiers.

    • peu de
    • un peu de
    • un petit peu de
    • un tout petit peu de

    I cannot find a good grammar reference, but if I understand correctly, in theory, "peu de" expresses the largest quantity while "un tout petit peu de" expresses the smallest quantity.

    "Tout" expresses the totality, the entirety, of the "smallness". It is exhaustive.

    In day to day use, the distance between these quantifiers may not be that much. According to the Moderator Sitesurf:

    • a little salt = un peu de sel
    • a little bit of salt = un petit peu de sel / un tout petit peu de sel

    (Sitesurf commenting about "Put some salt on your meat." = "Mets du sel sur ta viande.")

    These quantifiers appear in two tables in Grammaire française : mise à niveau: Supérieur et formation Volume 1, by Sophie Piron, but there is not much discussion about them.


    DL rejected "You can add a little bit of garlic." but accepted "You can add a tiny bit of garlic." March 13, 2019


    I feel like it's a lot to say "un tout petit peu" - can you not just say "un petit peu"? Would that be correct?

    [deactivated user]

      I think un TOUT petit peu changes it from simply a little bit to a TINY little bit for emphasis.

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