Differences between POCO and UN POCO DE: Spanish grammar (A2)

Differences between POCO and UN POCO DE, be careful when using the adjectives “poco” and “un poco de” because they are not the same. Also we are going to learn how to use  poco, pequeño, and poquito, in Spanish.
Differences between POCO and UN POCO DE

1...POCO, POCA, POCOS, POCAS indicates a small number or amount of something, it has a negative connotation,  emphasizes the lack of something. As it is an adjective, it has to agree in gender and number with the noun that it is referred to.

Gana poco dinero (He earns very little money).

Tenemos poca agua en el campo (We have very little water in the country).

Hay pocos alumnos en esa escuela (There are few students at that school).

Hay pocas cosas que hacer allí (There are very few things to do there).

2..UN POCO DE means “some”. It provides a positive idea “enough for what I want”, 

Gana poco dinero (He earns very little money).

Gana un poco de dinero (He earns a little money).

Hay poca contaminación (There is very little pollution).

Hay un poco de contaminación (There is some pollution).

3...Also be careful not to mistake POCO with PEQUEÑO (small, young, petit…) which is always referred to as size.

Estos niños son pequeños para estar solos (These children are young to be alone).

Nuestra casa es pequeña (Our house is small).

4.  POQUITO is a familiar way of saying “poco” and implies less quantity than “poco“.

Voy a estudiar un poquito (I am going to study a little bit).

El niño parece un poquito bajo para su edad (The child seems a little small for his age).

5...Phrases with “poco” and no direct translation

  • tardaré muy poco (I won’t be long).
  • voy poco por allí (I don’t go there very often).
  • al poco de… (shortly after…).
  • dentro de poco (soon, in a short time).
  • hace poco (a little while ago, not long ago).
  • poco a poco (little by little, bit by bit).
  • ¡poco a poco! (steady on! slow down!).
  • poco más o menos  (more or less).
  • por poco (almost, nearly).
  • tener en poco a alguien (not to think much of somebody).

Now you can practice everything you have learned with our quizzes, or see more entries about indefinites and quantifiers. Remember you can get in touch with your tutor with any question about the differences between POCO and UN POCO DE. Don’t you have a Spanish personal tutor yet?

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