Little? Small?? What is the difference between these sentences?? 1. The employees received a little Christmas bonus. 2. The employees received a small Christmas bonus. It's difficult for me to understand to distinguish vocabularies of amount... Not only above, but for example, what is the difference among "enormous" "huge" and "big"??
Feb 7, 2017 11:52 AM
Answers · 7
Hi Kenji, There are differences between "little" and "small". We use "small" to describe size or something of low numerical value. For example: This pair of jeans is simply too small (size) for me. I need a larger pair. We use "little" to describe (i) quantity of uncountable noun (how much of something) or (ii) young age For example: Sprinkle a little (how much) basil on the soup, please. Could you take this coat to that little (young) boy? Back to your question, The word "bonus" refers to an extra sum of money paid to employees of a company. Since you are referring to bonus (which is a countable noun) that is not a lot (numerically small), we should use: 2. The employees received a small Christmas bonus. I hope this helps. Cheers, Lance
February 7, 2017
The difference is very idiomatic. The best way to learn the distinction is to read English text. I cannot think of any good rule for the words. I will say that, in this case, 'small' is better. You'll more often hear "a little money", but that money would almost always constitute a "small bonus check". Another thing I want to mention is that, in your sentence, there are multiple employees but only one bonus check. You should say, "The employees each received a small Christmas bonus." Using 'each' here shows that they don't have to share a single bonus check. Alternatively, "The employees received small Christmas bonuses." Pluralizing 'bonus' shows that they don't have to share, but may imply that a single employee can get more than one bonus, or no bonus at all. Finally, 'enormous' is bigger than 'huge' is bigger than 'big'. The rarer the use of a word, the more specific it tends to be about its meaning. Hopefully, someone might come along with a more concrete understanding of how all these words differ. Unfortunately, I can only say how your examples function. See comments for more...
February 7, 2017
In America we like to eat cake. The elderly like to be served a small slice of cake. A small child will be served a small slice as well. An 11 year old boy would ask for a big piece of cake. A man 18 years old could be served a huge piece of cake. I love cake and would eat all of the rest, an enormous amount, until l could not eat any more.
February 7, 2017
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