A modicum of knowledge?

A modicum of knowledge

Consider this sentence:

  • I only have a modicum of knowledge about economics.

This means that I only have a little knowledege. So “modicum” (= un mínimo de/una pizca/una cantidad minima) here means that I am a layman (lego) in the context of economics: I am not an expert.

Some examples for you to contemplate:

  • Mr. Putin, the Russian dictator, does not have a modicum of humanity (…no tiene una pizca de humanidad).
  • I only have a modicum of respect for Mr. Biden (…un poco de respeto por…).
  • A modicum of consensus about taxes in Spain is essential (es esencial tener un consenso mínimo sobre los impuestos en España).
  • Am I making a modicum of sense?

Should you be preparing yourself for the Cambridge First, Proficiency or Advanced exams, you could say – in the speaking part, when starting to speak about a topic:

  • “I only have a modicum of knowledge about this topic. In fact, I am a layman, so I am going to speculate”.

That would be a good introduction to the topic and you would get points for it.

So many mortals have a modicum of knowledge about many things: we cannot be experts in everything. Such is life!


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