Big vs Large vs Great


With tangible nouns (you can touch and see) we prefer big or large.

After he won the lottery, he bought the largest house in the city.

There is a big field next to our house.

Other Vocabulary:
Lie vs Lay
All vs Whole
See vs Watch vs Look
Dead vs Death vs Died
Accept vs Except vs Expect
Altogether vs All Together
Fit or Suit
Affect or Effect
Advice vs Advise
Similar English Words



Big vs Large

We are more likely to call a tall and thin building big than large.

Large is a bit more formal and stronger word than big and there are some cases we prefer large over big or vice versa. Large also emphasizes 'big in more than one dimensions' area / volume.

We need a larger cup. (Need more volume)

We need a bigger knife.(No volume emphasized)

I wear large size clothing.
This is a large backyard. (big in length and width)
I've never seen such a big bear. (No emphasis on the bear's volume / area)


Note:

We can also use great with tangible nouns, however, it means “wonderful / important”

President Abraham Lincoln was a great leader who sought peacefulness, perhaps above all else. (Great means important)
I bought a great car last week. (great means wonderful)


With intangible nouns (you cannot touch and see) we usually prefer great.

There was a great amount of involvement for the charity walk.
You really look great in that red dress.
Egyptians showed great respect for the Pharaohs.


Note:

We can also use big with abstract but countable nouns informally.

I know I made a big mistake, but I will make up for it.
We've got a big problem.
▲▲▲▲▲▲▲

What’s New on GrammarBank:

  1. Second Conditional IF Exercise 2 – GrammarBank

    Feb 19, 18 02:29 AM

    Second conditional (type two) grammar exercise with answers 2 -- Check your answers at the bottom of the worksheet.

  2. How Much vs How Many Exercise 2 - GrammarBank

    Feb 17, 18 05:06 AM

    Printable and online grammar exercises-- How Much vs How Many worksheets with answers

  3. Unless / IF Not - GrammarBank

    Feb 17, 18 04:29 AM

    Unless means except if. We use unless to make an exception to something we say. See details with examples and exercises.

  4. Second Conditional IF Exercise – GrammarBank

    Feb 16, 18 07:50 AM

    Second conditional (type two) grammar exercise with answers -- Check your answers at the bottom of the worksheet.

  5. First Conditional IF Exercise – GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 09:57 AM

    If conditional type 1 (first conditional) grammar exercise with answers-- Check your answers at the bottom of the worksheet.

  6. In Case - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:36 AM

    Uses of In Case, detailed rules explanations with examples and exercises for English learners and teachers

  7. Wish Clauses - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:32 AM

    Uses of Wish Clauses, grammar rules with examples, exercises, and detailed explanations.

  8. IF clauses / IF Conditionals - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:26 AM

    IF clauses / First, Second and Third Conditionals (Type 1, type 2, type 3) categories explained with details, examples and exercises

  9. Third Conditional IF - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:22 AM

    Third conditional if is used for unreal situations in the past. Type three conditional grammar, with examples and exercises

  10. Second Conditional IF - GrammarBank

    Feb 14, 18 03:21 AM

    Second conditional IF also referred as Type 2 conditional is used for...See second conditional rules, examples and exercises