we got into a spot of bother with the police
Question: Can I use ‘a scrap of’ and ‘a trace of’ in lieu of ‘a spot of’ . WHy?
No, you can't.
A spot of bother is an expression, meaning a little trouble, although the expression is often used ironically to mean a lot of trouble.
A scrap of..... (or a few scraps of) is generally, but not necessarily, used for food, indicating a very small amount.
A scrap - without the preposition - can also refer to a fight.
A trace of.... is most often used in reporting tiny amounts of a substance, especially those found on clothes or in medicines, compounds, food recipes and so on.
These distinctions are typical rather than required but, regarding your query, to write a scrap/trace of bother would not be idiomatic.
Answered by Ronald Sole on December 19, 2020
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