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I've got a slight confusion while using them.

I believe "a bit" is used in the case when we are thinking from an "a little" perspective.

ex- he is a bit too late.

When shall we use "bit"? As per the articles, we should not use indefinite articles for noncountable nouns. Could anyone provide a little clarity on this?

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  • A bit (a small quantity, or a small piece) is countable. Apr 12, 2021 at 13:18
  • bit became countable after an article was used.
    – rahul soni
    Apr 12, 2021 at 13:35
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    It takes an article because it is countable. There is no such concept as bit as an uncountable noun. Apr 12, 2021 at 13:42

2 Answers 2

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A bit can mean a tiny thing or a small amount. It can also be used in computing to mean a single unit that may be on or off (this meaning is contraction of binary digit and is not really relevant to your question).

There isn't a situation I can think of where you would use "bit" without an article. You can use "little" that way, as in: He has little money left over (which carries a different connotation than He has a little money left over). But you would never say He has bit money left over.

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  • That's what, then why shouldn't I use an indefinite article with "bit"? or shall we assume that it is not mandatory to use an article in every sentence?
    – rahul soni
    Apr 12, 2021 at 13:17
  • @rahul, I think "bit" will always take an article, as Kate said. Whether you use a definite article ("the bit") or indefinite ("a bit") depends on what you mean: a bit of jelly or perhaps the bit of jelly on his tie.
    – randomhead
    Apr 12, 2021 at 14:19
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ex- he is a bit too late.

Here, "a bit" is used idiomatically and acts as an adverb meaning slightly/somewhat/to a small degree. Followed by the adverbs "too" and "late", it can modify either of the two, depending on which one you may want to stress:

He's a bit too late/He's a bit too late.

By the way, in this meaning "a bit" itself can be modified by, say, "little/ tad":

He's a little bit too late/He's a tad bit too late.

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