Having read through the entire list of posts it's amazing how many people claim 'little' by itself is wrong - most often because they have never heard it used that way. Sad - the world would be a terrible and inconceivable place if a thing were ruled out simply because a person had never heard of it before. If this Spanish Duolingo class teaches you something about English - then embrace it!
That’s nothing you should hear them talk about the word “much” by itself.
I feel it has more to do with pragmatics than you're considering. Frankly, using "little" on its own is vague and leaves the text up to interpretation. That's simply bad form for a modern language, and so language evolves.
The translation "she works little" is valid English and doesn't quite mean the same as "she works a little." The first is more along the lines of "she doesn't do much" while the latter implies "she does some." My question, then, is which is closer to what is implied by the Spanish?
The first and someone above posted 1 month ago that “...doesn’t work much...” is now also accepted.
Allintolearning3, I get that "works little" is a bit negative & "works a little" would be somewhat positive, AND that we are learning different ways to say things, but it seems that if I wanted to say someone "doesn't work much," it might be better to choose the negative & remove all doubt, saying, "Mi jefe no trabaja mucho los jueves," (because "doesn't work much" should equate to "works little"), agreed? Did I say that different way correctly?
I think the problem here is that a Spanish translation of an English phrase or sentence may not always easily translate into a form that an English speaker would commonly use.
The grammar is actually perfectly fine, although it is a dated construction. It should probably not be the default answer, but it is the most direct translation which is gramatical.
If you run a Google book search you'll see constructions like "he works little, but accomplishes much" in Dickens, Joyce, and others.
It's a bit literary, but I'm surprised how many people are completely unaware of the construction, or think that "works a little" is synonymous.
It's a perfectly valid translation, and perfectly conveys the meaning of the sentance. You'd gave go with the far less direct "doesn't work much" (which would be rendered differently in Spanish) or works "a little" which has a subtly different meaning altogether.
“My boss does little work on Thursdays” is correct, Duo may ignore the apostrophe or perhaps that was a typo, but it is not correct.
'a lot' is perfectly acceptable and commonly used grammar in English for this translation.
I can still hear my middle school English teacher say: "A lot is a place where you park your car!". In other words, we were taught back then not to use "a lot" to describe a certain amount or value.
Well, yes, "a lot" is commonly used – among the common people. A more formal or polite way of speaking is to say "much", "many", or "a great deal".
Using much instead of a lot isn't more polite. That implies using "a lot" is somehow rude. It is definitely more formal, but there's no reason to think this sentence needs to be formal. Formal and informal language have their places.
Sorry, as a professor, editor, and widely published author in English, I can assure that "a lot" is colloquial, juvenile, or street English. It's not "rude", it's just undeveloped, almost slang.
Where are you from? It was considered slang a long time ago. In the US, it is not considered slang. “The common people” sounds a bit rude. Come now, are you British? https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lot
I do like to use “a great deal”, but “a lot” is not necessarily “juvenile.”
Just one problem, this particular sentence is saying “My boss works little on Thursdays.” which is a negative view as in “not much”. In fact, “My boss does not work much on Thursdays.” is also accepted as correct. You two seem to be talking about a different sentence in which “mucho” would be used instead of “poco” which is used in this sentence.
“A little” is the positive viewpoint, but “little” is the negative viewpoint.
You could try reporting it as also correct. I don’t know if they will accept it or not. We do tend to add “very” when complaining. “very little” or “not very much” will often be heard. Someone above said that “...doesn’t work much” is now also accepted as correct which I feel is a correct translation.
In English (and I'm a native American) "My boss wirks very little Thursdays" can have two connotations. Meaning a few Saturdays or very little "on" Thursdays depending on the context of the coonversation. The 1st translation shoild be correct as well in my opinion. Kr we have to consider the age old saying "you can't translate everything directly" some things you just have to learn, know, and accept.
The expression “Little Thursdays” for “Saturdays” is not used everywhere, but I would capitalize “Little” for that. It seems odd to me, because I know someone who works every Saturday and it is not a shorter day.
Why is "los jueves" translated to "on Thursdays"? I'm missing why "los" would translate to "on" instead of "the".
The use of prepositions is different from one language to another, some places you will find a different preposition used and some places you will find no preposition used. The English expression “on Thursdays” is specific to English and in Spanish they use “los jueves”, so we just have to translate one expression for another.
In Brazil, "boss" is someone who is your employer, who pays you , while "Chief" is someone who is the manager or ruler of a sector of work. The chief is also an employee.
Which words do you use for each in Portuguese? In English, my boss can have a boss he reports to. A fire station has a chief.
For those of you who find the english sentence odd. I understand that "my boss works very little on Thursdays" should be the best translation. But "my boss works a little on Thursdays" (as someone suggested) doesn't fit well as the correct translation is literally "mi jefe trabaja un poco el jueves", which may carry a different meaning depending on the context. Im not a native english speaker but I hope I made it clear for y'all :)
I typed the exact thing without capitals and it said wrong. It never did that before.
It can happen since days of the week and months are always capitalized in English. So, to be clear, you had typed “My boss works little on thursdays.” ?
What exactly did you put? A lot of people put “a little” which is wrong when it must be “little” or “not much”
Again that is the positive viewpoint “a little” or “some” is the “glass half full” type of expression, but this is “little” or “not much” which is the negative viewpoint or “the glass half empty” type of expression.
I wrote "a little" and got it wrong.. But as an Australian the sentce with just "little" without an "a" in front of it just sounds wrong to me and I don't see how either way would be positive or negative connotations to the sentence, because in English if someone wasn't happy with someones work ethic they would be more likely to say he doesn't do enough work on Thursdays. But that's just what I'm used to I guess.
“Not much” is also accepted as correct for “little”.
Why not use menos for less, as in "works less on Thursdays" that might make for a better translation into English. "Works little" is just ridiculous
This situation is not helping me to understand the idiomatic use of poco. I agree that it makes little (pardon the choice of word) sense in English to translate these sentences without saying ´a little´ or ´not much´.
"My boss works little on Thursdays" Not English. "My boss doesn't do much work on Thursdays" is correct
I do not think I should have got this wrong. This is what I wrote calling: My boss works a little on Thursdays.
Please read comments next time as this has been discussed.
“poco” = “little” or “not much”
“un poco” = a little”
My boss Works "a" little on Thursdays would be a more accurate translation
No that is less accurate.
Un poco = a little
Poco = little = not much
Again, terrible sentence! My boss works very little, my boss works less, or my boss works a little would be correct.
There is nothing wrong with this sentence, even though it is less used, When used as an adverb, “little” means “slightly”.
It would be more positive: “a little” focuses on what he got done, while “little” complains that he didn’t do much.
My boss works a little bit on Thursday makes more sense that my boss works little on Thursdays.
It is a different view point “a little bit” is a positive way of looking at it, but this is the negative view point “little” or “not much”.
i put "My boss works a little on thursdays" and got it incorrect please fix this!
“A little” is “un poco” and focuses on the positive aspect that he did work a little, but this sentence is “little” as in “not much”, a negative view of it. So it is the glass half empty, as opposed to the glass half full. There is nothing to fix.
That would have been “un poco” for “a little” and is the positive version, while “poco” means “little” or “not much”.
For some reason it wouldn't let me add "a" and "bit" around little. In English, it still means the same thing.
No, it is not the same.
“Un poco” = a little or a little bit (positive view)
“Poco” = little or not much (negative view)