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I ate only a small bit of toast for breakfast.

Hi,

Is "small" in the above redundant? Thanks.
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Not at all. You may have had a large piece of toast and only eaten a small bit of it.
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That could be a feature of BrE. small bit is, strictly speaking, redundant in AmE. We would not call a big piece of anything a bit. Let me rephrase that. Iwouldn't. Emotion: smile Yet,small bit doesn't seem to me, even in AmE, to be a serious case of redundancy, to be avoided. The word small just comes off as an intensifier -- to emphasize the smallness.

CJ
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Comments  
Feebs11Not at all. You may have had a large piece of toast and only eaten a small bit of it.
Thanks, Feebs.

But doesn't "a bit of toast" do the trick?
No, that means one piece of toast. It might have been a big piece.

Nona
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 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
CalifJimThat could be a feature of BrE. small bit is, strictly speaking, redundant in AmE. We would not call a big piece of anything a bit. Let me rephrase that. Iwouldn't. Emotion: smile Yet,small bit doesn't seem to me, even in AmE, to be a serious case of redundancy, to be avoided. The word small just comes off as an intensifier -- to emphasize the smallness.

CJ

Thanks, Nona and Jim.