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grosse vs grande

I thought grosse meant fat but acording to duolingo it means big... But so does grande. Its quite a confusing situation could anyone help me out?

July 20, 2012



Gabstar and CarissaNinja are both right but there are lots of other ways of translating the words.

Here are some rough guidelines* :

  • Gros / grosse often means fat when referring to people and large for everything else. The main exception, I think, is for insults to people, e.g ."gros malin" does not mean that you are crafty and fat, just very crafty.

  • Grand / grande is often more serious and positive than gros / grosse.

Dictionary suggested translations can be useful for grasping the difference between two words :

  • Gros / grosse = big, large, overweight, fat, serious, major, pregnant.
  • Grand / grande = tall, long, wide, big, large, great, main, high, (From Oxford- Hachette Concise)

Here is a link a forum discussion about the difference. It has examples.. * It also includes exceptions to what I called "rough guidelines". http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=173236 Hope this helps a bit.


I think gros/grosse means large or big and grande means tall or long. So you could have a tall glass of tea or a big glass of tea. I'm a beginner too though, so I can't swear to it ;)


Merci :) You have really helped!

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