How do you say A BIT in Italian?

A bit in Italian

Un po’

Un po’ is the most common way to say a bit in Italian. It can also translate a little.

Un po’
A bit, a little

Un po’ uses an apostrophe, never an accent mark. Un pò is wrong!

For example, you can say…

Mi manca solo un po’ di latte per finire la ricetta.
I just need a bit of milk to finish the recipe.

Vuoi un po’ di zucchero nel tè?
Would you like a bit of sugar in your tea?

Questa maglia è un po’ larga.
This shirt is a bit loose.

kid wearing an oversized shirt

Un poco

Un poco is the unshortened version of un po’, but is not as common. It may sound a little outdated.

Ho bisogno di riposare un poco prima di continuare il viaggio.
I need to rest a little before continuing the journey.

Posso avere un poco di tempo per riflettere sulla tua proposta?
Can I have a little time to think about your proposal?

You can swap un poco with un po’ and the sentence will sound more natural:

Posso avere un po’ di tempo per riflettere sulla tua proposta?
Can I have a little time to think about your proposal?


Un pochino

If you know how Italian suffixes work, you know that the suffix -ino is used to make things smaller.

What’s smaller than “a bit”? A little bit! Un pochino translates as a little bit and it’s a common expression in informal language, often to convey annoyance, as in…

Sarei un pochino stanco di girare in tondo.
I’m be a little bit tired of going in circles.

Prendi un pochino di torta, dai!
Have a little bit of cake, come on!

a piece of delicious cream and strawberry cake

Un bel po’, un po’ poco

Un bel po’ and un po’ poco can be translated respectively as “quite a bit/few” and “somewhat little”. The first expression is used to say that there is much of something, while the second expression is used to say there could be.

C’era un bel po’ di gente alla festa di ieri sera.
There were quite a few of people at last night’s party.

Ho preso 7. Un po’ poco per la mia media, ma può andare.
I got a B. A little low for my average, but it can go.


Expressions with a bit in Italian

There are some common expressions featuring the translation for a bit in Italian. They are:

  • combinare poco (to do little)
  • poco a poco (little by little)
  • un po’ alla volta (a bit at a time, gradually)
  • poco male! (it could be worse!)
  • c’è mancato poco (that was close!)
  • divertirsi con poco (to be happy with little)
  • poco dopo (after a little while)
  • a dir poco (at the very least)
  • in poche parole (long story short)
  • è poco ma sicuro (that’s for sure)
Scared boy and a woman wondering why

More free Italian resources

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