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yóu diǎnr
phr. a little
Discussion of 儿/
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有点儿 vs 一点儿

有点儿 and 一点儿 both mean "a little", but they are used differently.

1. When it comes to position, 有点儿 is used before adjectives, while 一点儿 appears after adjectives. For example, these two sentences below:
盐放多了,菜有点儿咸。 vs 盐放多了,菜咸了一点儿。
(I) put too much salt. This dish is a bit salty.
* Note that 不 can be inserted between 有 and the adjective that follows it, but we cannot use 不 before the adjective that precedes 一点儿.

Below are how 有点儿 and 一点儿 are used differently:

2. 有点儿 is usually used to express one's subjective opinion or judgment and it's usually something negative, something we do not want. When using 有点儿, we wish the opposite.
Take a look at the same example sentence. Salty or not, it is highly subjective. A dish that is salty to one, may not be salty to another:
盐放多了,菜有点儿咸。(I) put too much salt. This dish is a bit salty.
Other examples:
这家酒吧有点儿吵。 This bar is a little noisy. -- The speaker doesn't like the noise.
这条裤子有点儿短。 This pair of pants is a bit short. -- The speaker doesn't like it that the pants are short.

3. 一点儿 is used to compare two things or two situations. E.g.
Compare 2 things: 这家饭店比那家贵一点儿。 This restaurant is a bit pricier than that one.
Compare 2 situations: 请说慢一点儿。Please slow down.; Please speak slowly.
* Note that we often use 一点儿 in imperative sentences like this one above, to express our wishes/requests. Here are two other examples:
请问,可以优惠一点儿吗?May I ask, can I have a discount?
别磨蹭了,快一点儿,不然我们会错过火车的。Don't drag your feet. Hurry up. Or we will miss the train.

4. When adjectives are used with 一点儿, sometimes we use 了 as well. Depending on the position of 了, the meaning will be different too.
4a. Adjective 了 一点儿:
Meaning 1: indicating the situation doesn't meet the desired standard, same as 有点儿 Adjective. E.g. 盐放多了,菜有点儿咸。 = 盐放多了,菜咸了一点儿。
Meaning 2: indicating change has occurred compared to the situation before. E.g. 我多放了半碗水,汤才淡了一点儿。I put an additional half bowl of water, making the soup less salty.
4b. Adjective 一点儿 了: indicating affirmation that the change one wishes to happen has happened. E.g. 他吃了药,觉得好一点儿了。 He took the medication and felt better.

5. 有点儿 can be used before a verb indicating mental activities. E.g.
刚来中国,难免会有点儿想家。 (I) just came to China. It's hard (for me) not to feel homesick.
结婚前一天, 他坦言自己有点儿害怕结婚。 One day before he got married, he said candidly that he was a little scared of getting married.

6. 一点儿 can be used before a noun to indicate quantity. E.g.
给我一点儿透明胶带,这么长就够了。Give me some transparent duct tape. This long is enough.
* Note that you will also see cases where 有点儿 appears before a noun -- that's a different story, a different structure: 有 is a verb while 点儿 is a shortened version of 一点儿.
E.g. 他的肾有(一)点儿问题。 He has got some problems with his kidney.
How do I use 有点儿 (yǒudiǎnr) in a sentence?
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Is 有点儿 (yǒudiǎnr) commonly used in casual conversations?
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Are there any words that are similar to 有点儿 (yǒudiǎnr)?
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can i use this in any circumstances?
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