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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!
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Like many here, I want to learn to speak with and understand actual people. In other words, I want to be able to speak to people on the street in the colloquial (not literary or formal) language. If I can also learn to appreciate the more formal and literary form of the language, great! Calling informal speech juvenile or undeveloped is simply ridiculous and a bit pompous. Can't we appreciate more colloquial forms of the language without demeaning them?
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 :)
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.
Adjectives agree with nouns for gender, but this is a verb and it is conjugated as “trabajo” for the pronoun “yo” which means “I” (1st person singular when I am talking about myself “Yo trabajo” = “I work”) It doesn’t matter if I am male or female. “Tú trabajas” = you work ( 2nd person singular, familiar form used when talking to a child, a friend, a family member or God, the father...) It doesn’t matter if you are feminine or masculine.
The verb form “trabaja” is 3rd person singular, for someone spoken about, used with “él” or “ella” which is “he” or “she” or either might be “it” and used with “usted” which is a formal singular “you” in Spain and in some places in Latin America is used for familiar and formal where “tú” is not used.
Adjectives and articles match nouns for gender and number, verb conjugations are completely different. You need to memorize which verb ending goes with which pronoun. “Jefe” or “jefa” would be replaced with “él” or “ella”, both of which take “trabaja” while “trabajo” is for “yo” no matter which gender “I” am.
This comment is to help people that would like to understand commonly spoken English.
My boss works little on Thursdays- This sounds very weird. It sounds like you are not a native speaker. My boss doesn't work a lot on Thursdays- this is what someone would normally say. My boss doesn't work very much on Thursdays- this is another common way to phrase the same sentence.
Not exactly correct. The other posts here explain this but I'll summarize in a different way here.
'un poco' and 'poco' would mean two slightly different things here. But both would be correct English or Spanish to use. But only 'poco' is correct here.
Using 'poco' by itself as it is here implies that the boss does not do a lot of work on Thursdays. So it is pointing out that not much work is being done.
In contrast, using 'un poco' implies that he is at the very least getting some work done. So the point is what is being done instead of what is not being done.
Mi jefe trabaja un poco los jueves = My boss works a little on Thursdays.
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.
Why is it 'difficult to believe'?
'works little' is NOT incorrect. It is completely acceptable - and in this case the closest correct English translation. Yes - many people who have not learnt this usage are complaining but that doesn't mean it is wrong. They just haven't come across it before.
Personally, I am glad this discussion is taking place as it helps educate more people about the use of English.
DL will accept alternatives from those people who (for whatever reason) don't like this usage. Everyone should be happy.
I suspect that a person with a strong stake in his original argument best explains the long thread of comments. Much as in a running Turing test, native English speakers are commenting on what seems to them a translation that does not "sound right" or mean the same thing in context. A person or more (hopefully not a bot) then responds to say that the translation is correct even if slightly irritating to many. I have to say that it's time to let this one slide off the radar. A good translation should not, I think, raise so many eyebrows.
I'm a native speaker of English and this sounds fine to me. Little is an adverb here. We commonly say things like:
I slept little last night.
He did very little.
It's hard to make broad statements like we would normally say... when there are so many native speakers on so many continents.