It´s my first time using this....
and I would like to know
what´s the diference between little and small ??
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Hello, Anaid, welcome!
One thing I can already tell you is that I've been taught "little" cannot be used as a predicate.
* the house is little: NO
the house is small: YES
You are right chere amie, I remember that I had a question in the same line, but I got the answer through another source. The answer is that small is a central adjective, and little is a peripheral adjective. A central adjective can be both attributive and predicative, where a peripheral adjective can only appear in one or other of these positions. Cheers.
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Okay x. and pieanne, please help me out here. I am not a trained linguist or English teacher. However, I have been speaking (American) English for some 50 years and have never heard of peripheral adjectives! From this thread and the one in the "general questions" board I have pieced together the following:

"Central" adjectives can be used either attributively or predicatively:

That was a tired dog. OR: The dog was tired.
I am an American woman. OR: I am American.
I am a short woman. OR: I am short.

Peripheral adjectives can be used in one part of the sentece or the other, but not both.
Some can only be used as predicates:
He is awake. NOT:He is an awake person.
Adjectives like this include : awake, asleep, afraid.

Others can be used preceding the noun, but not as predicates:
It was utter chaos. NOT: The chaos was utter. This category includes outright, chief, former.

Have I got it right so far? I can recognize this distinction, although I'm pretty sure no one ever taught it to me formally.

Okay, my problem is that I see nothing wrong with saying "I am little" or "the house is little." To me it just sounds more childish that the word "small," but it certainly does not sound completely wrong the way it would if someone said "the chaos was utter."

I realize that it might sound childish because children often break grammar rules. But to me it sounds like a childish vocabulary selection (like "tummy" instead of "stomach") rather than a grammar mistake (like "he taked the candy" instead of "he took...")

Who decides these things, anyway? And is it possible that "little" is undergoing a shift from being a peripheral adjective to being a central adjective? And how many other principles of the English language have escaped my attention thus far?

I'd love to hear from other native speakers who are not linguists or grammarians - does "the house is little" sound wrong to you???
Hello,Mrs Khoff,

By your last declaration, I am excluded from this debate. Thank you.
X. mehrdad - I'm sorry, you misunderstood me, or I was just not very clear. Most of my post was directed especially to you and to Pieanne, because you have explained so well this part of English grammar that I did not know about. I certainly want to hear your reaction, and hers. It was only as an afterthought that I wondered if other native speakers shared my feeling about the usage of "little." Please, return to the debate!! I certainly did not mean to exclude you.
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X.Mehrdad, you shouldn't feel excluded from the discussion more than I am! Have you noticed that I'm nota native speaker either, Emotion: smile So please come back!

As you see, I can't speak for any native speaker, bu "the house is little" sonds wrong to my foerign and French ears...
You could say, of course: "the house it little more than a cabin" but then it doesn't refer directly to its size...
Hello Mrs.Khoff, Hello pieanne,

I am not vexed or anything like that, and I would like to know the other native speakers' opinions on all the issues that we are discussing here, you know, for the native speakers,
English is like a fully furnished house, where they are born, and they seldom ask themselves why these things are there and what is the reason for all that, where as for the immigrants to this language, it is a totally diffreent story; they have to build their dewllings(which is often a tiny hut) brick by brick according to the local rules and regulations which they get from the local municipality, but once they are done with it, they know the reason for what is surrounding them, in doing this if they get help from the local people, they will surely do better, but the local rules are the ones, they should abide by, it is not to them to change them. Cheers
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