The most common way of asking about distance is probably:
- How far is it? Is it a long way? Is it a long way? Is it very far? Is it very far?
- No, just round the corner. / a couple of minutes’ walk (= very near).
- No, not far. / No, about five or ten minutes’ walk (= quite near).
- Yeah quite a long way. / Yeah, over a mile.
- Yes it’s a long way. / Yes it’s miles. / Yes it’s too far to walk.
- We can use far in a question or negative but not in a positive statement on its own
- We don’t say ‘it’s far’, we say ‘it’s a long way’. But we can say ‘it’s too far to walk’.
Size and dimension
We can describe size using the nouns above or the adjectives formed from them, like this:
- What’s the length/width/height/depth/size of …?
- How long/wide/high/tall/deep/big is …?
• We generally use tall to describe people, trees and buildings; and high to describe mountains. We also say high-rise buildings.
• Notice also that in the answer to these questions, an adjective follows the measurement: The garden is about ten metres wide. (= The width is about ten metres.)
Size in people and things
We use different words to describe the size of people and things:
- a tall girl (not a short girl)
- a fat person (not a thin person)
- a long book (= many pages) (not a short book)
- a deep lake (= many metres) (not a shallow lake)
- a thick book (not a thin book)
- a wide road (not a narrow road)
- We can use big or large to describe size in English, but not great.
- For English speaking people, great (infml) = fantastic.
- But we can use great before big to say that something is very big, e.g. I saw a great big dog in the park.
- If you want to ask about size in clothes, you say: What size are you? or What size (shoes) do you take? If you don’t know, then you need someone to measure you.