Sentences with the word little:

  • How dare you, you are only a little rickshaw-puller hassling with me.
    (I'm not using the word little for his age)

  • Give me a little soil.

  • What can I do with this little soil.
    (I'm using the word little for the amount of soil)

Now, a sentence with the word mere:

  • "How much more foolish it would be for mere humans to criticize “the Judge of all the earth"
    (in this sentence, mere mean something like "Not so special")

Question: Can I use "little" instead of "mere" in this sentence?

Also, can I write:

Men are made of mere soil, but they like to be jealous

I hope you will understand what I mean.

1 Answer 1


For your second quote is from the Bible, which has an archaic lexis, I would leave the sentence as it is.

But, if you intend to change it, come hell and high water, you can do that.

In that case, the meaning would shift to something else the original sentence is not trying to get across.

Mere in this sense indicates that man is almost nothing compared to the greatness of the Lord.

Replacing it with little, it would mean that man is little, the Lord above can anytime destroy him (though He won't), so he shouldn't think too much of himself.

The mere soil part does sound quite odd to me, I would replace it with Man is made merely of soil. and there's to it.

  • So my first these 3 sentences correct? Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 17:44

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