Thursday, April 25, 2013

What's the difference between LITTLE and SMALL?

Vladislav Spector asked that question on our Let's Master English community.

Manoj gave the first great answer...

MANOJ pandeyApr 19, 2013
small = limited in size or amount when compared
little = small in size or amount
I'd rather live in a small town than a big city
it came in a little box

Then Gustavo offered a great link:

Gustavo A. Fernández BermejoApr 19, 2013

And then I offered a few more examples:

All good answers and references...

BUT! My little brother refers to my younger brother and my smaller brother refers to my physically smaller brother--he could be younger or older!

I had a little cake. (could be an entire cake that wasn't very large OR just a tiny portion of a cake!)
I had a small piece of cake. (a tiny portion)

I exercise a little every day.
I exercise a small amount every day. (the same as above)

A little cold is okay, but not -10 degrees!
~~~SMALL~~~doesn't work

I'll have a little coffee. (not very much)
I'll have a small amount of coffee. (SAME as above)
I'll have a small coffee. (specific size (Small, Medium, Large))

Your head is small. (physically "under-sized")
You have a little head. (Same)

Give me a little hug. (affectionate...not too long)
Give me a small hug.  (not very affectionate, very short)

Can you think of more interesting examples?^^


Edwar said...

Let me see if I got it. "I'm a little unhappy with this small toy"
Is that allright?

Shane Peterson said...

Yes, Edwar! That's a perfect example^^

Dmitriy Bogolyubov said...

My kitty is smaller than a cheetah)

Dmitriy Bogolyubov said...

I've got a little headache

Maria Serna said...

Shane, all your channel are great thank you so much.