Let me ask you about the part in red in (1) below.
(1) The pain has been as big as the Albert Hall; now it is [color=red]no bigger than a house; when it has shrunk to the size of a cottage then I will pay you a visit.
I think “(only) as big as” works as a good paraphrase of “no bigger than.”
But do you think “no bigger than” is the best choice here?
Thank you in advance
I’d say that “no bigger than” means “smaller than”.
Yes, no bigger than a house, not the Albert Hall, so “smaller than” the Albert Hall.
Actually, my interest is elsewhere. You might want to take this into consideration:
(2) A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.
=A chain is (only) as strong as its weakest link.
Yes, the chain in question is weaker than when every link is equally strong. But what I’d like you to pay attention to is the fact that “no stronger than” and “(only) as strong as” are good paraphrases of each other.
So, let me ask my question again.
Instead of “no bigger than,” can we also use “(only) as big as” in (1)? Or it sounds OK, but you prefer the original “no bigger than”?