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Can "little" modify countable nouns?

A: Where did you have it custom-tailored?
B: It's not custom-made. I bought it off the rack.
A: Really? It fits you perfectly.
B: Thank you. It didn't fit me at first, so I had a little alterations made.
I learned that you can't use "a little" or "little" with countable nouns.
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Comments  
Of couse it can: «Hush little baby and don't you cry» (Sommertime, Ella Fitzgerald).

But in your example there should be no indefite article — "little alterations".
No, I don't think "baby" could be called "countable noun" there.

I'd say it's "vocative" (Isn't there one in Russian?) although there supposed to be no case in English.
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«Isn't there one in Russian?»

We used to have one before the Bolshevik Revolution... Now, in such sentences, the addressee stands in the nominative (subjective) case.

What about addressing several crying children: "Hush, you little babies, you fathers are rich and mums good looking so there's no reason to cry"? Also no case?

P.S.: Anyway, little can be used with countables. Just check it in google.
OK, you're right. Thanks for clarifying it!
We used to have one before the Bolshevik Revolution.
Ah, you ignited my fuse! Could you explain a bit more?
Hi T

You may hear expressions like a little alterations in informal conversation but in correct English your sentence should be:

It didn't fit me at first, so I had a few alterations made.

If the alterations were so insignificant as to hardly deserve a mention, you could say: I had some small alterations made.

Little
entails too much feeling to be used in the sentence. But these are OK:

a little town, a little boy

A wife may call her 50-year-old husband little: He is still a little boy. She wouldn't say: He is still a small boy.

Cheers
CB
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«Ah, you ignited my fuse! Could you explain a bit more?»

How am I supposed to explain it? You know/are learning Russian?
Yes, by all means, little can modify countable nouns.

As an American speaker, I agree that there are differences so that you can't always use "small" when you'd use "little," (the "little boy" example is a good one).

But you can use "little" just about any time you would use "small." You seem to have learned some sublties of difference between the two words that I, as a native speaker, don't know about. A small dog = a little dog. A small piece of cake = a little piece of cake. And so on.

In your example, with the slight change to I had some little alterations made, it sounds fine to me.
Grammar GeekIn your example, with the slight change to I had some little alterations made, it sounds fine to me.
Hi GG

Your sentence sounds fine to me as well. I think the original poster didn't quite know how to ask the question he/she wanted to ask. That is obvious from his/her sentence, which has a little alterations even though the title of the post has just little. Being a nonnative I can easily see what he/she is wondering about.

The basic difference between a little and a few when size is not meant is that a little can't qualify a plural noun:

I have a little/some money.
But:
I have a few/some friends. (Not: I have a little friends.)

This is what he/she is asking about. Of course little can qualify a plural noun when number/amount is not meant.

I also agree with you that little and small can often be used interchangeably. My examples weren't perhaps the best possible; I just wanted to say that little is a 'warmer' word and has emotional connotations.

Cheers
CB
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