ein bisschen

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Heather Bounaouara
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ein bisschen

Postby Heather Bounaouara » 2018-08-20, 15:45

Why is the 'b' in "ein bisschen" not a capital?
This word is surely a noun.

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linguoboy
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Re: ein bisschen

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-20, 16:05

That's debatable. Duden calls it a pronoun and considers it equivalent to either the quantifier wenig or the indefinite pronoun etwas, which is also uncapitalised.

I would only consider it a noun in the literal use of "a little bite". I honestly can't remember the last time I saw it used that way. (See: http://www.canoo.net/spelling/bisschen.)
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Heather Bounaouara
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Re: ein bisschen

Postby Heather Bounaouara » 2018-08-22, 13:39

Thank you very much Linguoboy for such a clear and concise answer.

Heather Bounaouara
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Re: ein bisschen

Postby Heather Bounaouara » 2018-08-22, 14:33

I would consider it to be a quantifier rather than an indefinite pronoun. Would you agree?

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linguoboy
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Re: ein bisschen

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-22, 15:20

Heather Bounaouara wrote:I would consider it to be a quantifier rather than an indefinite pronoun. Would you agree?

When a noun follows, yes. But that's not invariably the case. In a sentence like, "Gib mir einfach nur ein bisschen", I think it's best analysed as a pronoun. Isn't that how you would analyse "a little" in English expressions like "Not too much, I only want a little"?
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

Heather Bounaouara
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Re: ein bisschen

Postby Heather Bounaouara » 2018-08-25, 16:50

Yes, thank you for clarifying this for me.

Heather Bounaouara
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Re: ein bisschen

Postby Heather Bounaouara » 2018-08-25, 16:55

I think there's confusion on my part as other quantifiers, such as 'Duzend' are classed as nouns and, so, are capitalised.


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