The Correct Way to Use “High” and “Tall”

 

High and tall, are used to describe vertical distance and length. These two words seem like synonyms, but they are not really the same.

 

High

High expresses elevation, the distance of an object from the ground. High is commonly used to describe the height of a mountain. Besides, we also use high for an object which is beyond our reach or far above the ground. e.g.

high mountains

high ceilings

a high window

a high tower

 

Apart from that, we can use high in other contexts:

high hopes

high in fiber

high temperature

high IQ

 
Tall

Tall expresses height, the length of an object, from the top the bottom of the object. In addition, tall is used for an object that has above average in height. e.g.

a tall person

a tall tree

a tall building

a tall giraffe

 

Measurements

We use high to measure the height of an object.

The pine tree is 50m high.

 

When measuring the height of a person, use tall. If you use high, let’s say: “The person is high”, it means that the person has been using drugs. Thus:

James is 6ft tall (the height of James is 6ft).

James is taller than me (the length of his body is greater than mine).

James is higher than me (James’s location is above mine).

 

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