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    #1

    rocks vs stones

    I've searched the internet, as well as this forum, for the answer, but I'm not satisfied. So I'm posting again.

    From what I've gleaned, rocks are bigger than stones. Is that all there is? My point in asking is I want to be sure I'm using the correct term when I'm pointing at a stone/rock and calling it so.

    Can you lift a rock? If not, why is there the phrase Throwing rocks at my window?

    Are stones more polished, and rocks more rugged and uneven?
    Not a teacher.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: rocks vs stones

    Yes, stones tend to be smaller than rocks. There are also pebbles and boulders. But the rock/stone difference is just a guide. The stones at Stonehenge are massive.

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    #3

    Re: rocks vs stones

    On the other hand "Rockhenge" would be a good name for an outdoor music festival.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: rocks vs stones

    I believe that Americans use 'rocks' for some of the smaller things that we British call 'stones'. I would never hurl a rock at a window - I couldn't pick one up!

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: rocks vs stones

    I use 'rocks' and 'stones' interchangeably. I climb over rocks and stones, but I also throw (or if they're neat looking, collect!) rocks and stones.

    If I really want to emphasize the size, I'd use terms like pebble or gravel for the small stuff, and boulders for the large ones.

    Every once in a while, when I get a new group of students, I'll buy some chocolate rocks and proceed to make a show of eating them in front of my students, then try and entice them to try them. It always draws a good reaction.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  4. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: rocks vs stones

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    I use 'rocks' and 'stones' interchangeably. I climb over rocks and stones, but I also throw (or if they're neat looking, collect!) rocks and stones.

    If I really want to emphasize the size, I'd use terms like pebble or gravel for the small stuff, and boulders for the large ones.
    I agree.

    Now excuse me. I'm off to Rockhenge. . . .
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #7

    Re: rocks vs stones

    Now excuse me. I'm off to Rockhenge. . . .

    Are the Stones playing, by any chance?

  5. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: rocks vs stones

    Quote Originally Posted by JMurray View Post
    Now excuse me. I'm off to Rockhenge. . . .

    Are the Stones playing, by any chance?
    Yes, indeed! And next week they'll be in Boulder!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #9

    Re: rocks vs stones

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Yes, indeed! And next week they'll be in Boulder!
    Playing rock music, as usual ... which (hopefully) brings this discussion full circle.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #10

    Re: rocks vs stones

    A stone circle, I presume.

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