I've heard two sentences:

  • I'm a bit shy person

  • I'm a bit of a shy person

If they are both correct grammatically, then what's the point to add OF in the second sentence?

  • The first is not grammatically correct. You can say, "I am a bit shy" or "I am a slightly shy person" (or "I am a bit of a shy person"). macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/american/bit_2
    – user184130
    Jun 17, 2018 at 16:32
  • @JamesRandom It is said "a bit of a something used for saying that someone or something has a particular character, effect, or quality". So basically, If I say that "I'm a bit of a shy person", it doesn't indicate a smaller degree of shyness, and it only shows my particular quality/character. But If I say "I'm a bit shy", then it means that I'm actually a little BIT shy but I'm not entirely shy person. Do I understand it right? Jun 18, 2018 at 7:14
  • I'm afraid I can't see any difference between being "a bit shy" and "a bit of a shy person". They mean the same thing to me.
    – user184130
    Jun 18, 2018 at 8:00

1 Answer 1


The first sentence is not grammatically correct. It could read:

I'm a bit shy.


I'm a shy person.

If the intention is to indicate a smaller degree of shyness then the first one is preferred. The second one indicates you are a person with the adjective of 'shy'. This shows you as an entirely shy person.

In order to indicate this is a partial attribute then 'a bit' is used along with the function word 'of'.

I'm a bit of a shy person.

[See definition 4 in the Merriam Webster dictionary]

  • So, generally, it works this way: "be a bit + adjective"(I'm a bit smart, It's a bit important) and "be a bit of +adjectrive +noun" (I'm a bit of a smart guy, It's a bit important subject), But I can never say: "be a bit +adjective +noun". Am I correct? Jun 18, 2018 at 7:05

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