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Thread: great\large

  1. answermeplease


    would you explain the difference between large and great?


  2. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    Re: great\large

    I believe large is more a measurable word, and great is more an emotional word.

    A good house = A great house
    A perfect idea = A great idea
    A big car = A large car (5 meters long)
    An unhandy cellphone can be large as well (because of its size.)

    Large belongs to the same category as wide, height, tall, and so one.
    If it's something about size, you should go for large (as the cellphone example).

    P.S: Neither a teacher nor a native speaker.


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    Re: great\large

    Quote Originally Posted by answermeplease View Post
    would you explain the difference between large and great?

    You could add "big" just for completeness.
    Generally something big is large, and vice versa. But this is proportional to the expected size.

    "Great" is usually hyperbolic. Some really large (big) things are truly great - like the Great Wall of China or Great Barrier Reef. Here, I will introduce the word "grand" - the Grand Canyon. "Grand" also has a hyperbolic function in relation to big and large.

    A lot of "great" and "grand" things are so only by metaphor:
    Peter the Great, Catharine the Great (who was actually not a large woman), various Grand Masters and Grand Dukes. This is political greatness. The words 'large' and 'big' are not used for this.
    Henry VIII wasn't called Henry the Large - though he could have been, for his physique.

    Other "large" words are "massive, enormous, gigantic humungous ...."

    "Great" is usually not used on its own to signify size.
    A: Did you see Mt Kilimanjaro?
    B: Yes it was great! (This means 'It was splendid, impressive, etc. not 'large').

    This only scratches the surface of things. So maybe a few more people can comment.

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