Confusing words: high or tall?

Monday, August 18, 2014

High and tall are adjectives that refer to vertical height, but they are usually not interchangeable even though they are very similar. Here's how to use them correctly:

1. Tall is mainly used for things that are narrower or thinner than they are high: tall people, tall trees, tall buildings, tall glasses, tall ladders.

2. We prefer to use high for things that are very wide: high mountains, high walls, high fences.

3. We also use high for things that are out of our reach, or far above the ground: a high branch, a high shelf, high clouds, a high ceiling.

4. When measuring something we use tall for people, but usually high for objects.

- Flavia is 162 cm tall.
- The heels on her shoes are at least 10 cm high. Wow!

- Redwood trees, native to California and Oregon, are the tallest trees in the world. An average redwood tree can grow up to 91 meters high (measurement).

How tall are you?

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