Usage of 'bit'

Can you please tell me if the following sentences sound OK?

  1. Can you come to office a little bit early tomorrow?
  2. Can you come to office a bit early tomorrow?
  3. Can you come to office bit early tomorrow?

Should bit be always preceded by a qualifier like little? And can we omit a in front of bit?

The use of “bit” is OK, but you need to say “the/my/our, etc. office”. You don’t always need a qualifier and you must “a” - though in fairly rapid speech, the “a” sometimes disappears.

‘come to office’ does sound OK to me, Molly. I didn’t know it was incorrect.

If you were writing an informal, telegraphed, note, it might sound OK, but the full form is with the article or pronoun.

Hi, Daemon.

Office without any article suggest a public position or a duty or function assigned to or assumed by someone rather than a place in which business, clerical, or professional activities are conducted.

So, if you say “come into office” you mean that you start carrying on your duties.
example: Bush had come into office stating his intent to remove the United States from this agreement
“Out of office” means unemployed, rather than being outside of the office
“In office” means employed (as a public servant)

By the way, here is a site where your mistake is discussed:
That’s my 50 cents.

But then again, It’d be better if a native speaker stepped in and gave you a professional explanation. :slight_smile:

All wrong …

should be EARLIER with “a bit”

You can say “can you come to the office early tomorrow”

No “a bit is a bit and must be used with a”

These would be ok

  1. Can you come to THE office a little bit earlier tomorrow?
  2. Can you come to THE office a bit earlier tomorrow?

These are ok for “early”
You arrived early didn’t you
He arrived quite early this morning
She was going to arrive early, but didn’t
He always arrives early

I’ll leave the technical side for you guy to look up as homework.


Not a full explanation, but one to start you one the correct path.

I disagree with Hamburger. The word “early” is commonly used to refer to a time that is before the usual or expected time. “A bit” is used idiomatically to mean somewhat or to indicate a small degree. Nothing requires the use of “earlier” in your sentence, Daemon.

If you did use “earlier”, I would understand the meaning to be quite specific. For example:
Can you come to the office (tomorrow) a bit earlier than you came today?

I disagree I think with both sentences below the intention is to compare the requested action with previous actions.

Can you come to the office (tomorrow) a bit earlier than you came today?
Can you come to the office a bit early tomorrow (*than you came today)?

I think such speakers are using “early” informally (or even incorrectly). To me “can you * a bit early tomorrow” implies comparison.

It implies either “earlier that you have been coming/came up to now” or “I know it’s a bit earlier than one should expect a person to ask one to come to an office, but if you could do it…”

Can you come to the office early tomorrow?

That can, but need not, imply comparison.

Correct Molly …

Incorrect Amy …

Sorry! Amy.

I’m sure you meant to say

Incorrect Molly …

Correct Amy …

Or do you speak some new brand of English which Molly wised you up to ? :wink:

No idea

But for sure, Can you come to the office a bit early is incorrect !!!

Can you come to the office early tomorrow OK
Can you come to the office earlier tomorrow OK

and as “molly I think !” correctly said “a bit” reflects on a comparisson that therefore requires “earlier”

Can you come early? (No clear implication of comparison.)
?*Can you come a bit early? (Implies comparison.)


Thoughts on ‘bit’

In informal language the ‘a’ can be omitted in questions like these:

Bit late, aren’t you? Bit difficult, isn’t? 'Bit stupid, wasn’t he? There is a touch of sarcasm/contempt in these.


Molly look at what you posted “earlier not early” whoops smile

But it only happens at the beginning of a sentence, right?

I know. I posted this also ?*. That means what follows is questionable or not accepted by all speakers.

So, what about early and earlier? After your discussion it is a confusing point to me. Before it I was sure that earlier is correct.

I would say that “earlier” is prescriptively correct, but “early” is used by some speakers in that context.

If you use “earlier”, you need to be more specific “earlier than WHAT”.
Early does not require defining a specific time.
Read this post : … html#81553

Not at all. You can say “Can you come earlier tomorrow” and be totally understood as expressing comparison with an previous or present situation.