Use big and small to talk about the general size of something.
- Elephants are big.
- Mice are small.
Note: With clothing and food, we use large, not big:
I ordered a big coffee with milk.
I ordered a large coffee with milk.
“This shirt is too small for me.”
“What size is it?”
“OK, I’ll get you a large.“
Huge / Tiny
Huge = Very big
Tiny = Very small
- Their new house is huge! I think it has 50 rooms.
- “Do you want any cake?”
“Just a tiny piece. I’m on a diet.”
Use long and short to talk about length (horizontal distance). You can also use long and short with time, books, words/sentences, hair, and legs:
- The line to buy tickets for the concert is very long. There are hundreds of people waiting.
- The movie is really long – about three hours.
- That book is quite long – it has about 500 pages.
- Academic writing often uses very long sentences.
- She has short blonde hair and gorgeous long legs.
Note: There are two ways to talk about distance – far or a long way.
- The beach is far from my house.
- The beach is a long way from my house.
- The beach is long from my house.
Use tall and short to talk about height (vertical distance) – especially with people, but sometimes also with buildings and trees.
- My brother is really tall.
- New York City has a lot of tall buildings.
- There are many tall trees in the Amazon rain forest.