4

\large and other font size commands need to be placed inside a group:

In this text {\large some part} is large.

screenshot

Whereas \textbf and other styling commands receive a parameter:

In this text \textbf{some part} is bold.

screenshot

Why the difference?

  • \large is a switch, whereas \textbf{...} is a command with an argument. The corresponding switch is \bfseries. Actually \textbf{...} is the same as {\bfseries ...} – Bernard Jun 7 at 17:04
  • Related, although the present question is phrased more clearly: Braces inside or outside? – barbara beeton Jun 7 at 18:14
5

\textbf{stuff} (roughly) does {\bfseries stuff}, which is the counterpart for \large you are looking for. \textbf is defined in terms of \bfseries with:

\DeclareTextFontCommand{\textbf}{\bfseries}

You can do the same to create a \textlarge:

\documentclass{article}
\DeclareTextFontCommand{\textlarge}{\large}
\begin{document}
In this text \textlarge{some part} is large.
\end{document}

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