Confusing words: BIG or LARGE, HIGH or TALL

Posted on Aug 7 2014 - 5:05am by Zdenda

For many learners of English the slight differences between the words BIG vs. LARGE and HIGH vs. TALL are very difficult to understand. In this post I will try to make the differences clearer and easy to remember. To achieve this, I have come up with two videos, two quizzes and two mind maps. I hope you will undestand the differences now.
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Confusing words – High and Tall video

The following video has been created by Australia + Learning English. This video clearly explains the differences in the usage of the words TALL and HIGH. Watch it and then complete the mind map below.

Once you have watched the video, try to complete the following mind map. Of course you can watch it several times if you need. Keep the completed mind map for your future reference.
Confusing words tall and high mind map

Confusing words – BIG and LARGE video

BBC learning English produced a great explanation of the differences between the two words on their pages. I have just turned it into an interactive video, which you can see below. At the end of the video there is a quiz to check whether you remember the most important facts.


The sound track comes from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/1837_aae/page24.shtml
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To watch it full screen, click on the following button:
BIG and LARGE – video explanation

Once again it would be ideal if you completed the following mind map to remember all the facts about the usage of the two words.
confusing words big and large mind map

Confusing words – revision

Now it is high time to practise all that you have learnt so far. In the following quiz you have to answer more than 70% of all the questions correctly to be able to play the game Angry Finches. Of course you can use all the materials from this post. All games and videos here are in HTML5 so they should play on your mobile devices.

If you want to see the quiz on the full screen, click the following button:
Confusing words – final quiz

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11 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Fiona 08/08/2014 at 12:32 pm -

    Very helpful. Thanks
    How about Hurt and Pain …. a graphic would be great for this….

  2. Zdenda 08/08/2014 at 12:59 pm -

    An interesting idea. I will think about it but no promises.

  3. Nguyenmen 09/08/2014 at 12:59 am -

    Perfect!

  4. Zdenda 09/08/2014 at 2:27 am -

    That is great that you like it.

  5. Eva 10/08/2014 at 8:59 am -

    Thanks a lot for this. I’m Spanish and I teach English. I feel happy to have come across your website. Thank you!!

  6. Zdenda 10/08/2014 at 4:30 pm -

    I am glad that you like it. How did you find us?

  7. นพวรรณ นิ่มเดช 12/08/2014 at 10:35 am -

    Thank you for your post, it is very useful for me and try to learn more..

  8. Marie Luce 15/08/2014 at 9:54 am -

    In the first video it is explained: “We don’t usually say a high building”
    However in the final quiz the correct matches are:
    1.a high 1.building
    2.a large 2.percentage of
    but I think that the correct answers are:
    2.a large 1.building
    1.a high 2.percentage of
    am I right?

  9. Zdenda 15/08/2014 at 4:23 pm -

    As with many things in language you are right and so are we 🙂 Even though we usually do not say a high building, the fact is that many native speakers do and some of them say it is the only correct option. But your answers seem correct to me.

  10. Marie Luce 16/08/2014 at 10:24 am -

    Thank you for your answer and also for the website, it is really helpful, I like it.

  11. Rehana Mustakim 01/10/2014 at 11:21 am -

    Your website is really amazing and a great learning experience for people dealing with education or in general.
    Kudos to you

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