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  1. #1
    Seiichi MYOGA is offline Junior Member
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    Default no bigger

    I know that "not bigger" in (1) is used to state a fact: Hummingbird eggs are either the same size as or smaller than, coffee beans. I also know that "no bigger" in (2) is used to deny that hummingbird eggs are bigger than coffee beans or to express your surprise.

    (1) Hummingbird eggs are not bigger than coffee beans.
    (2) Hummingbird eggs are no bigger than coffee beans.

    One of the things that I'm not sure of for (2) is what you really mean by "surprise."
    My understanding is that there is no significant difference in size between hummingbird eggs and coffee beans, so you are surprised at how small hummingbird eggs are.

    In short, I had understood (2) meant (3a) but not (3b).

    (3) a. Hummingbird eggs are as small as coffee beans.
    b. Hummingbird eggs are either the same size or smaller than, coffee beans.

    My question is,
    Do you think (2) actually means (3b) when you use "no bigger" to mean surprise?

    Thank you in advance
    Seiichi MYOGA

  2. #2
    Soup's Avatar
    Soup is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: no bigger

    (2) Hummingbird eggs are no bigger than coffee beans.
    => Hummingbird eggs are either the same size or smaller than coffee beans.

  3. #3
    2006 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: no bigger

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiichi MYOGA View Post
    I know that "not bigger" in (1) is used to state a fact: Hummingbird eggs are either the same size as or smaller than, coffee beans. I also know that "no bigger" in (2) is used to deny that hummingbird eggs are bigger than coffee beans or to express your surprise.

    (1) Hummingbird eggs are not bigger than coffee beans.
    (2) Hummingbird eggs are no bigger than coffee beans.

    One of the things that I'm not sure of for (2) is what you really mean by "surprise."
    My understanding is that there is no significant difference in size between hummingbird eggs and coffee beans, so you are surprised at how small hummingbird eggs are.

    In short, I had understood (2) meant (3a) but not (3b).

    (3) a. Hummingbird eggs are as small as coffee beans.
    b. Hummingbird eggs are either the same size or smaller than, coffee beans.

    My question is,
    Do you think (2) actually means (3b) when you use "no bigger" to mean surprise?

    Thank you in advance
    Seiichi MYOGA
    Welcome!

    Both sentences mean that the eggs are the same size as or smaller than coffee beans.
    Both sentences, but especially (1), can be used to refute a claim that the eggs are bigger than coffee beans.
    I don't think that either sentence expresses surprise.

  4. #4
    Seiichi MYOGA is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: no bigger

    Dear Soup and 2006,

    I appreciate both of your help and comments.

    Seiichi MYOGA

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