Is this correct? I doubt so. When I look up wenig I find that it"s an adjective, not an adverb, and obviously the sentence requires an adverb.

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What"s the best way to say, "I speak a little"?



There exist three ways of how to use the adjective wenig in

As an attribute of a noun: A small amount of something

In diesem Glas ist wenig Wasser. In this glass is little water.

Ich sehe wenige Autos. I see few cars.

As an adverbial (which is not an adverb!): To an insignificant extent

Das kümmert mich wenig. I care little (about that).

Deine Äußerung war wenig hilfreich. Your statement was not very helpful.

In combination with »ein« (»ein wenig«): Synonym of »etwas«

Ich habe noch ein wenig Milch. Möchtest du sie? Ich habe noch etwas Milch. Möchtest du sie? I still have some milk. Do you want it?

Ich fühle mich ein wenig unwohl hier. Ich fühle mich etwas unwohl hier. I feel somewhat uncomfortable here.

But etwas is not an adjective, and it also isn"t an adverb. It is a pronoun, to be more precise: It is an indefinite pronoun (»Indefinitpronomen« in But when used in the meaning where you can replace it with ein wenig, you also can say that it is a Gradpartikel or a Steigerungspartikel (which are synonyms). I don"t know the official English terms, but i would translate this as grade particles or enhancing particles.

Examples of words, that belong to this part of speech are:

Ich habe etwas Geld. Dein neues Auto ist recht groß. Ich habe dich sehr gern. Du machst mich überaus glücklich. Dr. Steiner war ungemein freundlich. Das ist weitaus mehr als ich erwartet habe. Hast du dich schon einigermaßen erholt?

I have some money. Your new car is quite big. I like you very much. You make me very happy. Dr. Steiner was extremely friendly. That is far more than I expected. Have you already recovered to some degree?

Technically "ein wenig" does not belong to this group. Technically it consists of two words, the first is an indefinite article, and the second is an adjective, but together both words function like one grade particle, and therefore you can use them in this manner.

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Also the word bisschen, when combined with ein behaves this way.

In the following sentences the bold marked parts of speech are synonyms:

Ich spreche ein wenig Deutsch. Ich spreche ein bisschen Deutsch. Ich spreche etwas Deutsch.