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I don't understand this sentence:

I’ve had a little bit too much.

What does it mean?

PS. My native language is Ukrainian (Russian)

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It is a bit funny actually. It looks like a contradictory statement, "a little bit" then "too much" :-) – Promather Jan 24 '11 at 15:19
@Promather - The idea is that there is an amount past which lies the realm of "too much", and the person in question is just a "little bit" past that amount. – T.E.D. Jul 15 '11 at 12:02
I thought it is more on appearing "little" but the effect was like "too much". Thank you for the info. – user31243 Nov 22 '12 at 14:57

4 Answers 4

up vote 16 down vote accepted

It usually means you have had too much of an alcoholic drink, though it can be used to refer to too much of other things as well.

Little bit suggests to me the image of exceeding your limits.

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It usually means the person drank slightly too much alcohol, that is, they are slightly drunk. A similar phrase is "I've had a few too many."

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As Jeanne Pindar and Jasper Loy say, the intended meaning is "I've had a little bit too much to drink." But the phrase isn't usually heard until the speaker has had a great deal too much to drink, and so has a euphemistic quality about it.

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Not necessarily. The context that comes to me is of someone who isn't obviously very drunk saying that as a reason why they shouldn't drive, or why they just said something foolish. – Jeanne Pindar Jan 24 '11 at 0:12

(a) I've had too much to drink -----> I have drunk too much

(b) I've had a lot too much to drink -----> A frank admission that too much has been consumed.

(c) I've had much too much to drink -----> Exactly the same as (b) except that it is harder to pronounce when you are drunk and so makes the effect even worse.

(d) I've had far too much to drink -----> The same as (b) or perhaps even worse.

(e) I've had a little [bit] too much to drink - hic! -----> I have exceed the proper quota by a smidgeon. However this phrase is usually ironic and really means the same as (d)

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I would suspect that anyone saying "a lot too much" is not a native speaker if English. – phoog Jul 14 at 20:47

protected by RegDwigнt Nov 22 '12 at 16:32

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