"It’ll take me a little while longer to get ready" (Cambridge dictionary).

What does the word "while" means in that sentence? I'm trying to understand the sentence and I simply couldn't. (I understand that the meaning of "It'll take me a little" equals to "It'll take me a short time" but the rest isn't clear.

  • KIndly, see the sentence here dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/little May 8, 2018 at 0:34
  • Oh! I got my mistake. My bad. Thank you very much. So basically you answered my question. Please write it as an answer and I'll choose it. I think the way that they explain this word in the dictionary is misleading because they say that little means brief time and give this example. May 8, 2018 at 0:43

1 Answer 1


"A little while" is an idiomatic expression that literally means, "some relatively short amount of time", e.g.

I'll see you in a little while.

As with many time-related expressions, the actual duration of "a little while" is pretty flexible, ranging anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours (or longer) depending on context:

The reaction has to run just a little while longer ... almost ready ... there! Pour in the contents of that flask to neutralize the reaction.

Dinner won't be ready for a little while, so why don't we watch a movie while we wait?

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .