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6 confusing words - small & little, big & large, tall & high

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http://www.engvid.com 'Small' and 'little' are synonyms, but sometimes it's difficult to know which one to use. In this English lesson we will look at some situations where you should use 'small' or 'little', or either one. We will also look at when we use 'big' and 'large', and the differences between 'tall' and 'high'. http://www.engvid.com/6-confusing-words-small-little-big-large-tall-high/ TRANSCRIPT Hi again. I'm Adam. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. Today's lesson is a little bit tricky. The reason I say it's tricky is because we're talking about specific words that are often interchangeable; that are often used in the same situations or same meanings. We're talking about "small" versus "little", "big" versus "large", "tall" versus "high". Some students asked: what's the difference between them? I'll do my best to explain the difference between these words. First thing and the most important thing that you need to remember about these words is that yes, they are synonyms -- means they have almost the same meaning. What makes the difference in how to use them is always going to be context. Okay? A lot of the difference in how to use these words depends on the context they are being used in. Some expressions take this word or that word, and not the other, for example. In some situations, the meaning is very different depending on which word you use. Okay? So we're going to start with "small" and "little". Okay? The main thing to remember and in most cases the biggest difference: when we talk about "small", when we use "small", we talk about size, the size of something or its dimensions -- dimensions are length, width, height, depth, etcetera -- or intensity. Okay? When we talk about the intensity of something. So first of all, the thing to remember about this: we're talking about physical size. When we describe something as "small", generally we mean physically small, something physical is small. But again, sometimes we can use "little" to talk about the physical size of something. So for example: somebody has small hands or somebody has little hands. The nuance is a little bit different, and this is what you have to be careful about, nuance. If somebody has small hands, it means generally physical small but if somebody has little hands, it has more of the idea that he or she can do less with their hands. True, not true - I don't know; I'll leave that up to you. But just remember there's a slight nuance in difference. But, if you look at somebody, say: "Oh, he has such little hands." Or if you say: "Oh, that person has such small hands." Most people will get the same idea. But again, context might tell you it's a little bit different. Okay. When I talk about intensity, again, usually something physical like somebody has a small voice. If somebody has a small voice, sometimes it's a little bit hard to hear them. Did you hear that? Did you hear my small voice or do you hear my big voice now? But we'll get to that after. Usually, we use "little" with uncountables; money, time. "I have a little money." Not "small money". Small money means like in Canada, we have a dime, 10 cents, it's a very small coin but that's not what we're talking about. "A little money", when we're talking about quantity. So usually when you talk about uncountables -- things you can't count and you're not talking about physical size because it's not something physical, physical things you can count -- uncountables, not physical things, you usually use "small". If we talk about someone's stature... Now, what does "stature" mean? It means more or less like how people view this person or this thing. So look at the example. For example: if I say "A small man" versus "A little man". A small man means usually physically small; maybe short, maybe skinny, whatever. A little man is something... we don't care about this person. Right? He's small, I can step on him because he's not... doesn't have stature. A big man has a bit more stature. A large man is a large man, but we'll get to that in a second. When we talk about adjective of degree. When we want... we use "little" almost like an adverb. So: "I'm a little tired." Not small tired, a little tired. Or if you say... and that means just a little bit. Right? Not a great amount. But if I say: "I'm a little irritated." I'm a little irritated means like ugh, you know, somebody made me irritated. Again, context will usually tell you that "little irritated" means very irritated. "Ugh, I'm a little irritated." Means I'm pissed off, to be honest, but we use "little" to make it softer. Okay? But, and another thing, again this usually comes back to countables or uncountables. When we're talking about countables and we want to talk about the quantity, like how much we have, we say: "We have a small amount of something" or "We have a small number of somethings." Again, you usually use amount with uncountables, you'll use number with countables.
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Text Comments (384)
Esteban Fonseca (14 days ago)
Hey Adam! I'm a teacher and I always find new things to teach my students about. Thanks for your useful lessons.
فاديا دويك (17 days ago)
Fadia. Hello
فاديا دويك (17 days ago)
Awesome thanks
Nawar Nawar (1 month ago)
These words have been confuesing me since i started learning English but now they are so clear. Thank you so much but i have an additional question whish is: When do we use ( few)? and when do we use (afew) ? For example what is the difference between (few people) and (afew people) it is a little bit tricky.
Stefan (1 month ago)
A BIG thanks for sharing Adam. I know that I know nothing : )
Kashif Ali Khan (1 month ago)
Nice video sir
janak bamthakuri (1 month ago)
hello sir i m not native speaker please make videos about all grammar rules and coul you make videos little longer i like ur teaching style ....
Surender Singh (1 month ago)
Katalin Martonné Nagy (2 months ago)
I never will understand why money is uncountable...
Thank you! You are great
Harpreet Singh (2 months ago)
Thanks sir good teaching way
Moh Shamais (2 months ago)
What about huge vs enormous
Dodo Dodo (2 months ago)
Are you from canda?
Jamir Ahamed (2 months ago)
Thanks for your lecture
Jagannath Tanti (2 months ago)
I appreciate your help, neat work.
Heena sooo nice (2 months ago)
sangeeta sharma (2 months ago)
Difference between short and small
herik ribeiro (3 months ago)
I was expecting for the " height". Wanna know what's the difference between height and hight
Andulhaleem Adam (3 months ago)
Thank you very much teacher
Waqar Ali Shah Bukhari (3 months ago)
Thanks. But sir you used "more clear". Is it correct to say it or "clearer" is the correct word?
pedro costa (2 months ago)
Both are used
Mitra Bhattrai (3 months ago)
adam really good person
shammohan raju (3 months ago)
Adam sir excellent communication
Nguyen Khai (4 months ago)
Thanks you! You make me interesting when i learn english.
ren okta (4 months ago)
how about the price of this item is higher than another?
adjal khaled (5 months ago)
little boy vs small boy ?
mdm974 (5 months ago)
awesome teacher! Thank you!
Geron Hol (5 months ago)
It’s a little bit confusing.
Hajdu Nelli (6 months ago)
Aaand a sense of good humour :D ! I prepare to my exam with your videos daily.
Kwameduah (6 months ago)
free advanced fitness vids on my utube make sure you have a look.
peace Night (6 months ago)
Thank you so much Mrs Adam .
Artak Nazaryan (6 months ago)
"I have the high ground" Obi-Wan 'Who's High?' Jimmy Kimmel
Nthabiseng M (7 months ago)
Is it correct or not, when I say the power lines are high, while the poles connecting the lines are tall?
Mudii snm (7 months ago)
hey Adam, can you make me understand some of the English grammar rules and some english error exercises.
Syrena Fung (7 months ago)
the best english teacher on youtube
Alif Khan (7 months ago)
Thank you so much for teaching
Italo Barbosa (7 months ago)
And about HUGE? Is it the same like Large?
lakhan halli (8 months ago)
Thank you
Game review (8 months ago)
Thanks! You are a great.
Ali Perez (8 months ago)
I love the way you teach
HI! Please let me know. In a description of a house: Its a small single floor house with a central door between two small windows. The Question: Can I use "little" instead "small" just for not repeat words or is a grammatical mistake?Thanks
Ghita Lah (9 months ago)
Very clear thank you Adam 👍
savera shykh (10 months ago)
Hi! sir the lesson was great as always. I've a question that what's difference between "little , a little and the little"? and one thing last u r the best teacher I've ever met.
Safa Simon (10 months ago)
Thank you!
Safa Simon (10 months ago)
You are awesome
pedro henrique (11 months ago)
Congratulations Adam, I'm live in Rio de janeiro and I've been learning a lot with your classes.
Katalin Martonné Nagy (11 months ago)
Hi, Adam. You're really excellent. However this time I missed that you didn' mention ''great'', and the difference between "little" vs. "a little, and "few" vs. a "few". Perhaps in another video...
Mito (11 months ago)
You are the best!
Gayfa Allenis (11 months ago)
Thank you sir
medo the best (11 months ago)
thanks but what about long and tall
A 1 (1 year ago)
It is totally confusing 😑💔
kamal farhat (1 year ago)
Thank you Mr. Adam for excellent classes
Kashan Khan Pathan (1 year ago)
Thanks adam for these amazing lectures you are such a great teacher. could you please tell us that where we can use may/might and would/will and could/can....???
Entertaining Episodes (1 year ago)
Thank you so much,sir.
HenriqueD. Thiago (1 year ago)
There was somethings that I coudn't understand because english is not my first language, but I understood almost evrything, thanks dude.
Olivier Samor (1 year ago)
That wasn't a very clear explanation....
Charles Nebreja (5 months ago)
Olivier Samor uu
Olivier Samor (1 year ago)
That wasn't a very clear explanation....
ALFONSO MOSER (1 year ago)
Dear Adam 1000000 subscribers! Do you know I was watching a video of yours while the counter was suddenly moving towards your fantastic goal! I wish you the best. A huge hug from Trentino. Alfonso
Kioko Lorraine Cid (1 year ago)
I love the way you are! ❤ 😘
Kioko Lorraine Cid (1 year ago)
Uzma Munawwar (1 year ago)
yes u r a best teacher
Vekuzo Chizo (1 year ago)
sir your teaching are amazing 😁 ✋👌 keep (0r kept) going______________***
karar alfaraj (1 year ago)
I think you Adam very much because I learned from you
Thuan Jimmy Le (1 year ago)
I adjusted my earphones when Adam came into the small voice
JL H (1 year ago)
(The man is high) is the same of drug or something like that?
TheRav_kmvrtt (1 year ago)
easy on bahasa small=kecil and little=sedikit
Lorena Buenaventura (1 year ago)
Thanks teacher Adams :)
You're the best teacher I ever seen!
Romualdo Regis (1 year ago)
mickie (1 year ago)
but a person is short, if is low in stature
messymonster (7 months ago)
mickie calling someone short is talking just about their height. When you say small you are also talking about the size of hands, feet, legs, face, etc.
Shi77er (1 year ago)
Hi Adam! Do we use article before non count nouns?
sebas universe pro (1 year ago)
sebas universe pro (1 year ago)
good teacher I am exam for the monday
lagan mondi (1 year ago)
what a explain... i reaily like it thanks bro...
Cnssumeyye Cansiz (1 year ago)
very good teacher 👍😊
Nav Jyoti Special (1 year ago)
Rahulj Gautam (1 year ago)
beautiful explanation.
mulyyy (1 year ago)
Many thanks
RobloxStuff (1 year ago)
this is how i feel...☺😯😥😦😐😊😀😑😧😨😕😁😂😠😩😰😬😃😄😡😟😱😢😅😆😴😲😳😮😇😈😣😵😶😤😉☺😯😥😦😐😊😀😑😧😨😕😁😂😠😩😰😬😃😄😡😟😱😢😅😆😴😲😳😮😇😈😣😵😶😤😉....but my main one is....😇😇😇
SYED SUHAIL (1 year ago)
I'm doing LLB and i dont have enough speaking skill.....so what i have to do...plz...tell me...
SYED SUHAIL (1 year ago)
Adam sir, how can I improve my speaking skill... if i know all the grammar rules...
jaysonrocks thefinest (1 year ago)
Akash Gupta (1 year ago)
when to add en to adjective like entitled,enrich
Akash Gupta (1 year ago)
can u tell us the exact use of otherwise
Antonio Dominguez (1 year ago)
high.....I love how you explained that....
Carmen Guerrero (1 year ago)
Antonio Dominguez kimk
¿ERES LATINO Y QUIERES APRENDER INGLES? Esto podría interesarte: facebook.com/inglesIETI
Ghita Lah (1 year ago)
Nice video thank you
Vong Vattanak (1 year ago)
I like this vedeo
Gio Tex (1 year ago)
your lessons are very interesting
Zahir Asadi (2 years ago)
Thank you Adam, this lesson really helped me
Fulvia Pell (2 years ago)
thank you Adam
BONGI SRIKANTH (8 months ago)
Hii babes
Sagrario Berti (2 years ago)
Adam, you are an extraordinary teacher. I´m writing from Caracas.
Ahliman Abdullayev (2 years ago)
good, but it could be better, because 13+ minutes is too loo long for such simple things :)
Ahliman Abdullayev (2 years ago)
big brother is watching you :)
Dev Sealkeen (2 years ago)
I feel myself autistic a bit because the teacher had to write the "context" word with the red marker for me to understand what he said x)
parth kabariya (2 years ago)
thanks..this video is really so helpfull
Kervis Chan (2 years ago)
parth kabariya mm
U.S. Moderator (2 years ago)
Very confusing way! I wouldn't understand if I were a student! everything is mixed!
Darya (2 years ago)
Thank you so much!!! Now I understand:)
Diletant (2 years ago)
I am still confused. We say "the building is tall", but "it is a high-rise". What's the difference?
Moha (2 years ago)
I'm from Saudi Arabia and this teacher is one of the best teachers I have ever seen thanks a lot.
MD. SALIM REZA REZA (2 years ago)
A big gun who is my uncle talked me yesterday about an much important fact that you should hang upon when you are in this class, which is the class of Addams in the online. Thanks

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