Monday, May 21, 2012

Common Error: "High" vs. "Tall"

Welcome again to Mistake Monday! Today we'll talk about when to say "high" and when to say "tall." Today's Common Error can actually be funny sometimes, but that's a good reason to be careful when saying these words. 

The Burj Khalifa skyscraper (formerly known as the Burj Dubai). Should you say it's the tallest or the highest building in the world? Read on to find out! Image by Leandro Ciuffo
Common Error: High vs. Tall
DON’T say this:"Shelly is a very high girl."
"When I was a boy, I wasn't high enough to ride the roller coaster."
"The airplane is very tall in the sky."
WHY?-High and tall are essentially synonyms, but they're used for different cases. They both can describe the height of someone or something. The opposite is short.

-High is generally used with objects, and it indicates a vertical distance that is far away. Common examples are:

"The father put the cookie jar on top of the refrigerator so that it would be too high for the children to reach."

"When space tourism starts, passengers will fly high in the atmosphere."

-Tall can be used with objects OR people. The word indicates a lot of height:

"The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest building in the world."

"I don't think I'm very tall, but I'm taller than most of my students."

-CAREFUL! If you use the word "high" to describe a person, you're generally indicating that he or she is on drugs!

"The musician was so high that he couldn't even play his guitar for the concert.
INSTEAD, SAY THIS:-"Shelly is a very tall girl."
-"When I was a boy, I wasn't tall enough to ride the roller coaster."
OR
-"When I was a boy, I was too short to ride the roller coaster."
-"The airplane is very high in the sky."

This dog may be short, but he still looks suspiciously high (on drugs!) Image by Cissurz
That's it for now! If you have questions or comments, please leave a comment or contact me. Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

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-Ryan