A little bit in Chinese – 有点儿 vs. 一点儿 🥊 🥊

A little bit in Chinese – but is it 一点儿 or 有点儿?

You probably already know how to say a little bit in Chinese. You know that moment where you go to order some noodles and want to tell your waiter (服务员 – fúwùyuán) ‘just a little spice please’? Or when someone asks you if you speak Chinese so you tell them a little bit in Chinese?

 How do you express this? Do you use the adverbs 有点儿 (yǒudiǎnr) and 一点儿 (yīdiǎnr)?

If so – do you know when to use each one? Even though both of them mean a little bit in Chinese, they are not the same. 

But what’s the difference? 🤔

Check out our handy one minute breakdown video below! Or if you already know, why not check out our Chinese culture or vocabulary short quizzes?


1. 一点儿 (yīdiǎnr) comes AFTER adjectives

一点儿 (yīdiǎnr) means ” a bit (more)”, and comes AFTER adjectives in the structure [adj. + 一点儿 (yīdiǎnr)].

For example:

◾️ 慢一点儿
◾️ Màn yīdiǎnr
◾️ A bit slower

一点儿 (yīdiǎnr) is used to say that something has changed, or if you want some change to happen.

For example:

◾️ 可以快一点儿吗?
◾️ Kěyǐ kuài yīdiǎnr ma?
◾️ Can we go a little bit faster?

You can also add a noun after 一点儿 (yīdiǎnr), in the structure [一点儿 (yīdiǎnr) + n.]

For example:

◾️ 我要买一点儿水果
◾️ Wǒ yào mǎi yīdiǎnr shuǐguǒ
◾️ I want to buy some fruit

◾️ 我想加一点儿糖和牛奶
◾️ Wǒ xiǎng jiā yīdiǎnr táng hé niúnǎi
◾️ I want to add some sugar and milk

2. 有点儿 (yǒudiǎnr) comes BEFORE adjectives

有点儿 (yǒudiǎnr) comes before adjectives in the structure [有点儿 (yǒudiǎnr) + adj].

For example:

◾️ 有点儿
◾️ Yǒudiǎnr pàng
◾️ A little bit stout

有点儿 (yǒudiǎnr) is used to say that something is bad, or you’re not happy with it.

For example:

◾️ 今天有点儿
◾️ Jīntiān yǒudiǎnr
◾️ Today is a little bit hot

💡 Exercises

Choose the right spot for 有点儿 (yǒudiǎnr) and 一点儿 (yīdiǎnr) in the sentences below:

1. 衣服___贵___,可以___便宜___吗?

2. 咖啡___苦___,我想要___糖___。

3. 我___不舒服___,师傅,___慢___。

4. 天气___凉快___了,但是还是___热___。

A little bit in Chinese? Or a little bit too much?

Sometimes it can be tricky trying to get your head around Chinese grammar structures. Don’t worry. It happens to the best of us! Why not have a look at our free trial classes to get you ready for the HSK test?

Additionally, don’t forget to have a browse through our other super informative blogs. There, you can discover the benefits of learning online or other difficult grammar comparisons, such as past participles!

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