small - little

small - little
Small and little are both used to say that someone or something is not large. There are some important differences in the ways these words are used.
\
position in clause
Small can be used in front of a noun, or after a verb such as `be'.

They escaped in small boats.

Portable computers need to be small.

\
Little is normally used only in front of nouns. You can talk about `a little town', but you do not say `The town is little'.

...a little table with a glass top.

...a little piece of rock.

\
used with submodifiers
You can use words like `quite' and `rather' in front of small.

...quite small incidents.

...a rather small paper knife.

...fairly small groups of people.

\
You do not use these words in front of little.
\
You can use `very' and `too' in front of small.

The trees are full of very small birds.

...houses which are too small.

\
You do not use `very' or `too' in front of little when you use it as an adjective. You do not say, for example, `I have a very little car' or `Our house is very little'.
\
comparatives and superlatives
Small has the comparative and superlative forms smaller and smallest.

They are smaller, darker birds.

...the smallest yachts in the fleet.

\
You do not use a comparative or superlative form of little.
\
used with other adjectives
You can use other adjectives in front of little.

...a nice little man.

...a historic little ship.

\
You do not normally use other adjectives in front of small.
\
For a graded list of adjectives which are used to describe how small or large something is, see entry at ↑ small - large.
\
See also entry at ↑ little - a little.
\

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • big fish in a small/little pond — see ↑fish, 1 • • • Main Entry: ↑big …   Useful english dictionary

  • small — small, little, diminutive, petite, wee, tiny, teeny, weeny, minute, microscopic, miniature can all mean conspicuously below the average in magnitude, especially physical magnitude. Small (opposed to large) and little (opposed to big, great) are… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • little - small — Small and little are both used to say that someone or something is not large. There are some important differences in the ways these words are used. ◊ position in clause Small can be used in front of a noun, or after a verb such as be . They… …   Useful english dictionary

  • little - a little — ◊ little used as an adjective Little is usually used as an adjective. You use it to talk about the size of something. ...a little table with a glass top. See entry at ↑ small little. ◊ a little used as an adverb A little is usually used as an… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Little Red Brocket — Conservation status Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1)[1] …   Wikipedia

  • little — 1 / lItl/ adjective 1 SIZE small in size: a little house | their little group of supporters | a little bit of especially BrE (=a small piece of something): little bits of paper all over the floor | little tiny spoken (=extremely small): a little… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • Little Saigon — This article deals exclusively with the Vietnamese communities within the United States of America; for other communities outside Vietnam, refer to the Overseas Vietnamese article.Little Saigon is a name given to any of several overseas… …   Wikipedia

  • small — small1 W1S1 [smo:l US smo:l] adj comparative smaller superlative smallest ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(size)¦ 2¦(not important)¦ 3 no small degree/achievement/task etc 4¦(young)¦ 5 small business/firm/farmer etc 6¦(letter)¦ 7 conservative with a small c /democrat… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • small — I. adjective Etymology: Middle English smal, from Old English smæl; akin to Old High German smal small, Greek mēlon small domestic animal Date: before 12th century 1. a. having comparatively little size or slight dimensions b. lowercase 2. a.… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • small*/*/*/ — [smɔːl] adj 1) not large in size, amount, or number These shoes are too small for me.[/ex] I d rather work for a smaller company.[/ex] A small number of people have complained.[/ex] 2) not very important or difficult Can you do me a small… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”