Would you say “a bigger” OR “a larger question”?

I am not sure which one is grammatically correct.

  • Possible duplicate of english.stackexchange.com/q/24499/50044
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 23:26
  • 1
    Usually they mean the same thing. But here, bigger means more important. So a bigger question is a question with more importance. Larger just means more size. So unless the question can be measured in units of length, it's incorrect to say larger question.
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 23:28
  • 3
    @NVZ - Google returns hundreds of instances of the larger question is in both published books and contemporary news stories. I don't think it's "incorrect."
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 23:45
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    You need to provide some context, what exactly do you want to say, gives us a full sentence? What makes you think that large might be better or worse than big?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 23:48
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    @J.R. An even bigger question: Is it better suited to ELL? Can you migrate it?
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 23:55

1 Answer 1


Large is a bit more formal and stronger than big.
Large also emphasizes "big in more than one dimensions (like area or volume)".

  • "We need a larger cup." (Need more volume)
  • "We need a bigger knife." (No volume emphasized)
  • "I wear large size clothing."
  • "This is a large backyard." (big in length and width)
  • "I've never seen such a big bear." (No emphasis on the bear's volume or area)

Reference: http://www.grammarbank.com/big-large-great.html

As you cannot define an actual area or volume for the noun "Question" it's more likely to say big or bigger question.

However there is a book by J. Bronowski called "Large Questions", which means that the term "large question" or "Larger Question" isn't incorrect.

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