I answered wrong the following question:

There is a nice house with a big/large garden.

I chose big. Is it incorrect indeed?


2 Answers 2


I don't think you answered the question wrong. I think both sound just fine. Grammatically, and in terms of common usage, both are correct.

Here is a little bit of reading to give you some information on the minor differences between the two: BBC

English SE

  • 3
    Amusing that the page you link to uses almost the exact same sentence -- "The house has a big/large garden" -- as an example of where either one works just as well. I have no idea what the person who wrote the test thought was the "right" answer.
    – Jay
    May 26, 2015 at 13:33
  • The test writer was wrong... terribly wrong.
    – Dronz
    May 26, 2015 at 16:53
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    I'd like to know more about the directions and test objectives. For example, if the question asked for someone to pick the more precise word, large could be considered the better choice. There is nothing grammatically wrong with big, of course, but if the test was designed to help learners pick a better adjective, it might be a large garden, a tall building, a gigantic animal, a spacious field, and a vast galaxy (not a big garden, a big building, a big animal, a big field, and a big galaxy).
    – J.R.
    May 26, 2015 at 21:29
  • 1
    @J.R. Since a garden can only really be "big" in one sense (covering a large area), I don't think that "big" is even any less precise in this case. May 27, 2015 at 9:09
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    @David - No argument from me; I was just trying to get into the mind of the test maker. Now that I've seen the test, I'm done with trying to give the test maker the benefit of the doubt.
    – J.R.
    May 27, 2015 at 10:04

Both adjectives suggest generally the idea of something above average size but broadly large refers to size and big to importance or significance. Large is used for example with clothes and sizes such as small/medium/large/extra large.

A large house would be one with a lot of rooms - a big house also with a lot of rooms and possibly looking imposing as well.

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