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Do you have this sweater in a smaller size?

or

Do you have this sweater in a size small?

Which sentence is grammatically correct?

1 Answer 1

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They are both correct, but the second is not idiomatic. It is perfectly understandable, but a native is unlikely to say it that way. The first sounds natural. The first is also more useful because it can be spoken by anyone of any size. Sizes often differ from one manufacturer to another, so you might not know the exact size you need until you try something on.

The second is less useful. It means this:

Do you have this sweater in the size called "small," which I expect to find printed on the label?

For an American male, this would be roughly 36 inches in the chest.

As I wrote above, the second is also a little unnatural. A native speaker (at least in the US) would be more likely to say this:

Do you have this in a "small"?

Naturally, you can substitute any conventional word for clothing size: medium, large, extra large, ten etc. The name of the size is the only indicator you need to make it clear you are discussing a size.

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  • I'm with you as far as in a size small. Although the meaning is clear, the phraseology is not idiomatic, and not the correct way to say in a small (or smaller) size. Although you go on to spell out your doubts, may I suggest you reconsider your introduction that both are correct. Aug 9, 2021 at 10:40
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    I would agree they're both correct, although maybe the second is less idiomatic. (I might say in size small rather than in a size small). Aug 9, 2021 at 11:39
  • books.google.com/ngrams/… Aug 9, 2021 at 12:04

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