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ESL forum > Ask for help > LITTLE    

LITTLE



teacherlupe
Spain

LITTLE
 
 
 
                DEAR  FRIENDS:
 
               i HAVE A DOUBT, CAN YOU HELP ME?
 
               IS IT POSSIBLE TO WRITE    LITTLER    AND LITTLEST WHEN IT IS ABOUT SIZE?
 
                THANKS IN ADVANCE
 
                GUADALUPE

11 Nov 2010      



redcamarocruiser
United States

Yes. http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/ask-teacher/28444-little-comparative.html has explanations.

11 Nov 2010     



06.04
Turkey

littler is very,  so,  too,  extremely rare; and even there is no such a thing. it is less. when it is about size: smaller is used.

11 Nov 2010     



dennismychina
China

 Hi, littler, littlest sounds so wrong but my spell check doesn’t hi-light them so I suppose it must be correct. I’ve always used less lesser least or small smaller or for age young etc.etc. But then I was brought up with British English. ???

Enjoy.

 

11 Nov 2010     



magneto
Greece

OALD : The forms littler and littlest are rare. It is more common to use smaller and smallest.

So, I guess littler and littlest are not wrong; just very rare.

I ´d use small - smaller for size and young - younger for age.

11 Nov 2010     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

Teacherlupe,
 
Where I live in the UK, the words ´little ´, ´littler ´ and ´littlest ´ are very frequently used.
 
I am astonished that someone seems to think that the word ´little´ is ´rare´.
 
The Oxford Dictionary of English devotes more than half-a-column to it.
 
´Little´ conveys a sense of appealing diminutiveness; charm; affection; (and sometimes condescension).
It is used particularly in Nursery Rhymes and Children´s Songs.
"Little Boy Blue": "Little Jack Horner"; "Little Miss Muffet"; "What Are Little Boys Made Of?" "Little Boy Kneels At The Foot Of The Bed", "The Little Drummer Boy", "In My Sweet Little Alice-Blue Gown", "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", etc.
 
Les

11 Nov 2010     



magneto
Greece

Hmmm...Interesting tip, Les...And leading those who read your post to discover that the Oxford Dictionary of English is also available online...or will be in December, at least.

Always nice to get information from native speakersApprove

11 Nov 2010     



SueThom
United States

Little is very common, as Les pointed out, but as I understand the question, it ´s more about the comparative and superlative forms of the word.

I agree that those are not used nearly as often.  Running them and smaller/smallest through COCA, the following numbers come up:
301,186  little          165,345   small
        99  littler           27,868   smaller
      318  littlest            3,970   smallest

12 Nov 2010     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

Sue,
 
"Is it possible to write ´littler ´ and ´littlest ´ when it is about size?"
 
My answer: "Yes".
 
I think that your statistics throw more light on the question as asked.
 
All the Best.
 
Les

12 Nov 2010     



teacherlupe
Spain

        
 
 
                 THANKS   EVERYBODY FOR YOUR REPLY.
 
                 GUADALUPE

13 Nov 2010