big

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UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈbɪg/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/bɪg/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(big)


Inflections of 'big' (v): (⇒ conjugate)
bigs
v 3rd person singular
bigging
v pres pverb, present participle: -ing verb used descriptively or to form progressive verb--for example, "a singing bird," "It is singing."
bigged
v pastverb, past simple: Past tense--for example, "He saw the man." "She laughed."
bigged
v past pverb, past participle: Verb form used descriptively or to form verbs--for example, "the locked door," "The door has been locked."
WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
big - large - great
Big, large, and great are used to talk about size. They can all be used in front of countable nouns, but only great can be used in front of uncountable nouns.
describing objects
Big, large, and great can all be used to describe objects. Big is the word you usually use in conversation. Large is more formal. Great is used in stories to show that something is very impressive because of its size.
‘Where is Mark?’ – ‘Over there, by that big tree.’
The driver swerved to avoid a large tree.
A great tree had fallen across the river.
describing amounts
When you are describing amounts, you usually use large.
She made a very large amount of money.
They export large quantities of corn.
Be careful
Don't use ‘big’ to describe amounts. Don't say, for example, ‘She made a very big amount of money’.
describing feelings
When you are describing feelings or reactions, you usually use great.
He has great hopes for the future.
It was a great relief when we finally got home.
When surprise is a countable noun, you can use either big or great in front of it.
The announcement was a big surprise.
It will be no great surprise if Ryan wins.
Don't use ‘large’ to describe feelings or reactions.
describing problems
When you are describing a problem or danger, you use big or great.
The biggest problem at the moment is unemployment.
Many species are in great danger.
Don't use ‘large’ to describe a problem or danger.
showing importance
Great is used to say that a person or place is important or famous.
He was one of the greatest engineers of this century.
We visited the great cities of Europe.
used with other adjectives
In conversation, you can use great and big together in order to emphasize the size of something. You always put great first.
There was a great big hole in the road.
Be careful
You can say that someone is in great pain, but you don't usually use ‘big’, ‘large’, or ‘great’ to describe an illness. Instead you use adjectives such as bad, terrible, or severe.
He's off work with a bad cold.
I started getting terrible headaches.
'big' also found in these entries:
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