I was writing down my thoughts when I came up with this sentence and I don't know if it makes sense.

"Ten years seems so little yet it feels so large"

Thank you for your help.


I was reflecting on the last ten years of my life, the way I perceive time, the missing opportunities and my lack of action.

When I was 16 I thought 10 years was a lot of time and it is, but now that I'm 26 I can't seem to relate to this idea.

The clock ticks too fast for me everyday that makes the idea of reaching a goal attainable, yet Everytime I take action I fail. And when the due date finally comes, time finally shows itself as he is and the many opportunities he had given me to get back on track, yet here I am, in the same place and nothing has changed and that's when I feel that past time feels short and long at the same time.

It's at this point when I realized that, had I just resisted a little longer I'd have reached my goal. Because it is now that I see it wasn't endless fight.

It's funny how ten years seems too little now that is over, yet it feels so large because in that short span, many people did so much more than I did.

That was basically was I was thinking when I came up with this sentence.

Please excuse the long post and my poor rusty English.

Thank you.

  • 4
    "Ten years seems so short, yet it feels so long."
    – Billy
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 4:52
  • 1
    It makes sense to me. The "largeness" of time is poetic, as if it's a weighty thing that is bearing you down. Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 5:19
  • Could you add more context? Buildings, plants, pets, children may reflect passing time by growing larger, which might lead to your quoted sentence.
    – bukwyrm
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 5:29
  • @bukwyrn. Yes, of course. Added some context.
    – jc31
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 6:42
  • 1
    As others have pointed out, we measure time in terms of length not size. That said, "large" is the opposite of "small", not of "little". The opposite of "little" is "much". You wouldn't say "ten years seems so small", and so you can't say "ten years seems so large", either. However, you can say "ten years seems so little yet it seems so much".
    – ЯegDwight
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 9:33

3 Answers 3


As Billy commented, the usual metaphorical measure for amounts of time is length. So the most conventional way to rewrite your sentence is probably:

Ten years seems so short, yet it feels so long.

That might not fully capture all the nuance you want to express, but it would not confuse anybody as long as you explain the distinction between the "seeming" and the "feeling" in other sentences.

Other metaphors are reasonably common with more specific connotations.

You can use the "weight" of a span of time to describe the physical or emotional effects of its passing (e.g. "the years weighing you down" could describe physical aging or regrets at past events).

It's also pretty common to use speed related terms to describe the subjective experience of time, often related to an observer's mood (e.g. "time flies when you're having fun", where "flies" in this context means "goes fast"). This is in many ways an obvious extension of the length metaphor, since as any calculus student can tell you, speed is the rate of change of distance.

In some situations you can even relate time intervals directly to other time intervals (e.g. "a day passed in the a blink of an eye", which could only be literally true if you've got severe eye problems). Usually you need some extra words explaining the relationship between the intervals (e.g. "the minutes felt like hours").


The issue is that there are a number of antonyms to little. Large is certainly one of them, but little/large refer to size; that combination doesn't refer to a quantity of an uncountable thing like time.

When referring to quantity like this, you need much.

Ten years seems so little yet it feels so much.

Respected opinion says it's a quantifier (a type of determiner) or an "adjective of quantity", which would fit one of Oxford's definitions:

1. ‘did you get much help?’

a lot of, a good deal of, a great deal of, a great amount of, a large amount of, plenty of, ample, copious, abundant, plentiful, considerable, substantial


  • 1
    "It feels so much" feels 'orrible to me.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 9, 2018 at 21:23

Let's treat it like a simile. "It seems like its so little, yet it seems like it's so large." This is a narrator's POV. Someone believes this, and you can't argue against what they believe. A person can think this, so it is defensible as a thought.

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