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Quick answer
"Un poco de" is a phrase which is often translated as "a bit of", and "poco" is an adjective which is often translated as "little". Learn more about the difference between "un poco de" and "poco" below.
un poco de(
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
1. (general)
a. a bit of
El ambiente está muy cargado. Voy a salir a la terraza, necesito un poco de aire.It's very stuffy in here. I'm going out to the terrace; I need a bit of air.
b. a little
Si tuviera un poco de dinero, me compraba un pequeño terreno en el campo y me hacía una casa.If I had a little money, I'd buy a small piece of land in the country and build a house.
c. a little bit of
Todo lo que te pedí fue un poco de amor, nada más, pero ni eso supiste darme.All I asked from you was a little bit of love, no more, but you couldn't even give me that.
d. some
Ve a casa de la vecina a pedirle un poco de sal. Nos hemos quedado sin.Go to the neighbor's to ask for some salt. We have none left.
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An adjective is a word that describes a noun (e.g. the big dog).
1. (not much)
a. little
Nos queda muy poco vino para los invitados.We have very little wine left for the guests.
b. not much
Había poca agua caliente para la ducha.There wasn't much hot water to shower.
c. few (plural)
Pocos profesores dejan huella en sus alumnos como el Señor Blanco.Few teachers make an impression on their students like Mr. Blanco.
d. not many (plural)
Pocas personas asistieron al funeral.Not many people went to the funeral.
An adverb is a word that describes a verb, an adjective, or other adverbs (e.g. to run quickly, very tired).
2. (little quantity)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Duerme muy poco los fines de semana.He doesn't sleep much on weekends.
Últimamente nos vemos muy poco.We don't see much of each other lately.
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
3. (little quantity)
a. little
Con lo poco que me quedaba, pude arreglarme.I was able to manage with the little I had left.
4. (small amount; often used with "un")
a. a little
Solo quiero un poco; estoy a dieta.I only want a little; I'm on a diet.
5. (short)
a. not long
Falta muy poco para las Navidades.It's not long till Christmas.
6. (not many)
This refers to an idiomatic word or phrase for which there is no word-for-word translation.
no direct translation
Menos mal que pocos piensan como él.It's just as well not many people think like he does.
Hay pocos que se molestarían en ayudarlo como tú.There are few who would bother helping him like you do.
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