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Can we say sentences like

1) "You talked little at the party."

2) "I practiced little today."

3) "I ran little in yesterday's practice."

4) "Yesterday, I waited little for my turn at the doctor's waiting room." etc.

or do we only have to say these below?

1) "You barely talked at the party.", "You didn't talk much at the party", "You didn't talk a lot at the party."

2) "I barely practiced today.", "I didn't practice much today.", "I didn't talk a lot today."

3) "I barely ran in yesterday's practice.", "I didn't run much in yesterday's practice.", "I didn't run a lot in yesterday's practice."

4) "Yesterday, I barely waited for my turn at the doctor's waiting room.", "Yesterday, I didn't wait much for my turn at the doctor's waiting room.", "Yesterday, I didn't wait a lot for my turn at the doctor's waiting room."

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    try substituting: did not x [verb] much. The negative is preferable here in idiomatic English. – Lambie Sep 26 '18 at 19:17
  • A good question. In general, I think you can use little wherever you would use much, but in #4, much wouldn't make sense ("I waited much"?) and therefore little doesn't sound right either. – stangdon Sep 26 '18 at 19:47
  • Note to my post: All of the declaratives with little are grammatical. They are just not as likely as the negatives with much. – Lambie Sep 26 '18 at 20:05
  • I would happily use little with all your examples except 4. The reason it doesn't fit with 4 is that I would use it for an activity that is, or may be, repeated several times during the interval: it means "on few occasions". I wouldn't use it to specify the length of a single period of waiting. – Colin Fine Sep 26 '18 at 20:57
  • Thanks for the answers. @ColinFine Do you think I can say either of these? "You talked little in the previous class." and "You talked few times in the previous class."? Context: Imagine that I'm saying those sentences to a fellow student who normally gets involved in the discussions in the classes a lot. – Fire and Ice Sep 29 '18 at 10:01
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  • You barely spoke at the party yesterday.
  • You spoke little at the party yesterday. [grammatical]
  • You didn't speak much at the party yesterday. [more used, also grammatical

Yes,I suppose barely can be used instead of negative verb + much and declarative verb + little. They essentially all mean the same thing.

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