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Lourd, gros, grand

I am a bit confused on when to use which. I always thought gros was fat, but duolingo uses it more as big (which I though grande was) as opposed to small and lourd as heavy.

Generally speaking, when someone says "La grosse femme" do Frenchoids interpret this as the fat woman or the big woman? Thank you?

February 25, 2013



Definitely the fat woman (obese = obèse).

Pls, also consider: Context and usage determine which one to use. There is no absolute answer to your question, just trends: • human beings: il est gros (fat), il est grand (tall), c'est un grand homme (great). Intentionally, "grand" is more appreciative than "gros": c'est un gros commerçant (making money); c'est un grand industriel (respectable). • animals: un gros chien (contrary of "petit chien", so rather big); un grand chien (tall and slim) • real things: gros manteau (thick/heavy), grosses chaussures (big/heavy), grande robe (long), grande avenue(wide), grand vin (great wine). • concepts: un grand rire (big), un gros or grand chagrin (deep/great)

etc... a lot of more examples could be found.

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