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一點 means "a little" when applied to adjectives. For instance, 快一點 means faster (i.e., fast a little) but often times people shorten 快一點 to 快點.

What is the principle for shortening 一點 to 點?

Can you always shorten it, or does it only apply to certain words like 快? For example can you say 淨點 instead of 淨一點? or 吃點?

Is it only colloquial, or can you also shorten it in writing as well?

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  • "外国人实用汉语语法":"一点儿"用在动词或形容词后边时,"一"可以省去,只说"点儿"例如:When preceded by a verb or an adjective ,一 in 一点儿 can be omitted. For example: 我想查点儿资料。今天缓和点儿了。
    – user6065
    Jun 28 '17 at 4:14
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    also note that in numeral measure word combinations when used as object the numeral 一 can be omitted, e.g. 他有个姐姐在北大学习、我上街买了本书、你写篇文章吧, or with 点:你喝点儿水吧|昨天下了点小雨
    – user6065
    Jun 28 '17 at 4:42
  • omitting "一" may violate prosody and therefore not be permitted, cf.CCG,26.1, "一 in a sentence may be omitted w/o making any difference to the actual meaning intended, e.g. 我送了一支笔给她。 我送了支笔给她。However, if we replace the verb 送 with its disyllabic equivalent 赠送,we see that the second alternative with 一 dropped is no longer valid:我赠送了一支笔给她。 *我赠送了支笔给她。Again,if we keep the verb 送 in its monosyllabic form and move the coverbial phrase 给她 forward to a position behind the verb the 2nd version becomes invalid:我送给了她一支笔给她。 *我送给了她支笔给她。"
    – user6065
    Jun 30 '17 at 12:40
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Difference between [(adj/adv) + (點)] and [(adj/adv) + (一點)]

'快' = 'fast'

'快點' = 'faster'

'快一點' = 'a little faster'

'早關門' = 'close early'

'早點關門' = 'close earlier'

'早一點關門' = 'close a litter earlier'

Difference between [(點) + (n)] and [(一點) + (n)]

'有本事' = 'have skill'

'有本事' = 'have some skill'

'有一點本事' = 'have a little bit of skill'

'給我好處' = 'give me benefit'

'給我好處' = 'give me some benefit'

'給我一點好處' = 'give me a little bit of benefit'

when is it okay to use only 點 instead of 一點?

The reason '點' and '一點' are often used interchangeably is because both 'some' and 'a little bit' have the same implication of 'not a lot'

If you just want to describe something that is 'not in considerable amount' or 'not to a great extend' you can use either 有點 or 有一點

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「吃點東西吧!」、「一點小事別在意!」

一點 「也少盡一點子心哪。」

一點點 「祇有一點點大。」

一點兒 「大意一點兒」

In most cases these are interchangeable.

We do not omit 一, if there is no verb, adjective or adverb in front of it. For example, 一點小事別在意!

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