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Message de traviskidd posté le 2004-08-11 23:36:54 (S | E | F | I)
Ginette asked me in another thread when we use big/little vs. when we use large/small.

I'm American, but I'm not sure I can give a good answer to this question.

The words "big" and "large" are essentially the same.
The words "little" and "small" are also essentially the same.

But where you cannot use "big", you cannot use "little", and where
you cannot use "large" you cannot use "small". Hence the true opposite of "big" is not "small" but "little", and the true opposite of "large" is not "little" but "small".

As far as when to use big/little vs. large/small, I think that in 95% of cases, you can make yourself understood with whichever you choose.

"Big/little" are the simpler, more common expressions. "Large/small" are a little bit more formal, and are used more often in commerce.

Shirt sizes are SMALL (S), MEDIUM (M), LARGE (L) and EXTRA LARGE (XL).

Shoe sizes are numbered, but otherwise you can use large/small to refer to them.

At McDonald's you can order a "small fries" (that is, a small package of French fries), a "medium fries" or a "large fries". Similarly you can order a small Coke, a medium Coke, or a large Coke. (You can also order a "Big Mac" but that is the name of the hamburger; there is no "Little Mac".)

Amounts are usually large/small. There is a large amount of water in the ocean, but only a small amount in my cup. Bill Gates's bank account is large. Mine is small.

Likewise, containers are usually large/small. Maybe you have a large cup of coffee in the morning.

People and animals are usually big/little. If you say "he is a big boy" it usually means the boy is older. But if you say "he is a large boy" it means the boy is larger than other boys his age.

Hopefully these examples help a little. But really the difference between big/little and large/small is very subtle. Perhaps other English-speakers can add their comments.

-------------------
Edité par bridg le 19-11-2004 11:17


Réponse: re:Big vs. Large de serena, postée le 2004-08-12 00:14:27 (S | E)
Hello traviskidd

I find your comments so clear that we don't need to add anything. Of course, this is my own point of vue !
I wrote down everything as I also had some problems to use these words. So, thank you very much for your useful participation anytime somebody needs help.
Your examples do help us a big.....sorry....a lot !




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