a farmer lives in a small house

Sun14

Senior Member
Chinese
Hello, my friends,

I was wondering whether the underlined part is idiomatic:

"A poor farmer lives in a small house."

Thoughts: I was wondering whether house refers to an expensive house while a poor farmer cannot afford.
 
  • Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    Hello, my friends,

    I was wondering whether the underlined part is idiomatic:

    "A poor farmer lives in a small house."

    Thoughts: I was wondering whether house refers to an expensive house while a poor farmer cannot afford.
    I don't entirely understand the question. If you want to refer to an expensive house, you say 'expensive house'. If you want to refer to an inexpensive house, you say the latter instead. The same goes for 'big' and 'small'. Obviously those terms are relative. A big house to some people might be any house with more than three bedrooms, a big house to others might refer to an aristocratic mansion. Houses can be all shapes and sizes. Besides, where else would a farmer live except in a house? There are no apartment blocks in the countryside, at least in the UK.
     

    florance

    Senior Member
    danish
    It can! It is a generic term; it depends on the context and what it is paired with at the end of the day.

    Examples would be: dingy/ ramshackle/ shabby/ modest/ tiny/ single-storey + house - they can also imply different things
     

    florance

    Senior Member
    danish
    By the way, I am not really sure but I once read an article about housing problems in Hong Kong and I came across a coined term "caged-homes" (something alike at least) depicting homes that are smaller than small itself - pitiful :(
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I don't entirely understand the question. If you want to refer to an expensive house, you say 'expensive house'. If you want to refer to an inexpensive house, you say the latter instead. The same goes for 'big' and 'small'. Obviously those terms are relative. A big house to some people might be any house with more than three bedrooms, a big house to others might refer to an aristocratic mansion. Houses can be all shapes and sizes. Besides, where else would a farmer live except in a house? There are no apartment blocks in the countryside, at least in the UK.
    Got it. Thank you very much.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    By the way, I am not really sure but I once read an article about housing problems in Hong Kong and I came across a coined term "caged-homes" (something alike at least) depicting homes that are smaller than small itself - pitiful :(
    Yes. That is really terrible.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    As others have said, Sun, it's relative. To make a true statement/comparison, you could say this:

    A poor farmer lives in a small house.
    A rich farmer lives in a big house.

    You need to have a point of comparison to really make a statement.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    As others have said, Sun, it's relative. To make a true statement/comparison, you could say this:

    A poor farmer lives in a small house.
    A rich farmer lives in a big house.

    You need to have a point of comparison to really make a statement.
    Got it. Thank you very much.
     
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