For example a greengrocer sells two types of orange which are big size and small size . While we speak about which orange I need , I say sentence below;

I need small size of this ( by showing big size oranges as I couldn't see the small size orange )


I need this in small size ( by showing big size oranges I couldn't see the small sized orange )

I know there are more simple ways to explain this situtaion but I try to learn difference between two phrase .What I wonder is that does both sentence have same meaning ?I mean'' in small size or small size of'' cause sentence mean different ?

2 Answers 2


Even before coming to the discussions on grammatical correctness here; Since you are using words that refer to the size of the object like 'small' and 'large' you don't need to specify size explicitly. You can instead ask for a 'smaller' or 'larger' orange.

Going into examples cited, I would rewrite them as follows.

A greengrocer sells oranges, both big and small.

Here the reason to avoid usage of types is that it can be misconstrued as if you are specifying two varieties of oranges and not the sizes per se.

I need a smaller/larger orange

If we are framing it as a question so as to ask for the availability of a smaller or larger orange. you can use

Do you have a smaller/orange?


It is hard to advise you on how to combine mime and speech. If you are showing him the orange why not also make the sign for 'small' with your fingers? Then you don't even need to speak!

"I need small size of this" and "I need this in small size" are both grammatically incorrect.

British English doesn't use 'need' as often as American English does. So in Britain, if we didn't know the word 'orange', we might ask, "Have you got smaller ones of these?" Or "Do you sell smaller ones of these?" Or perhaps "I'm looking for smaller ones of these." In the US, "I need smaller ones of these" would probably be the way to go.

Remember - there are better ways to say it than any of these.

In Britain most people would ask, "Do you sell smaller oranges?", but you don't want to say 'oranges'! You could hold up an orange and ask, "What is this?" Then, once you've learnt its name, you could ask, "Do you sell smaller oranges?"

The word 'size' is rarely used when buying fruit. We speak of big ones, little ones, large melons, small cucumbers etc. 'Size' IS needed when buying things where precision is needed: clothing, carpets, coffee etc.

"I need these in a smaller size" is something you might say in a shoe shop. We need precision here. You might ask about "size 12 socks" or "socks sized 12". Buying a coat, where the labels say simply 'Large', 'Medium' and 'Small', you might say, "I need this in a small size" or "I need a small-sized one of these", or perhaps even "I need the small size of this."

  • I’d add that the word “size” is often preferred when there is a typical pattern or standard being referred to. So that eggs have a “size”, as do beds, TVs and (as mentioned) shoes. You are not likely to ask “Do you have any smaller beds than this one?” but you would say “Does this bed come in queen-size too?”. Commented Jan 18, 2020 at 3:33

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