It was a part of a news:

The talks went for hours, and while they brought some hope for an end to the war, Ukraine's president and residents in Kyiv made it clear they expected little out of the discussion.

What does the last part mean? Does it mean that they didn't expect that the discussion would be helpful?

2 Answers 2


Literally, to "expect little" out of something means to expect that the "something" is unlikely to produce something good or meaningful, but the nuanced meaning is closer to, "I expect nothing good or meaningful."

So, let's say I have just applied for a job that I don't think I'll get. If I say...

I have low expectations from this process.

... it means I'm not really expecting to get the job, but I'm optimistic that I might.

But if I say...

I expect little to come out of this process.

... it means something like, I think it's a waste of time, and I'll be shocked if I get the job.


Yes; the understood meaning is "they expected little [progress to come] out of [or 'be produced by'] the discussion.

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