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Difference between big, small, long, short, tall, huge, and tiny

Learn English Words - Big and Small

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.”


Learn English Words: Long and Short

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.

Learn English Words: Tall and Short

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.

QUIZ: Big, small, long, short, tall, large

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