English grammar – Small & little

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Form & meaning

Small and little are both adjectives.

  1. Small is used to talk about the size of something.
    • Your cat is very small.
    • Can I have two small pizzas please?
  2. Little can be used in the same way as small to refer to size, but it can also be used with another adjective to express an emotion.
    • He’s a clever little boy.
    • Nobody’s looking after that poor little dog.

Additional points

In comparative and superlative form, small is more common in British English, and little is more common in American English.

  • That’s the smallest phone I’ve ever seen. (more common in British English)
  • That’s the littlest phone I’ve ever seen. (more common in American English)

Related grammar points

Few and Little


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