Overview

In general, there are three ways to compare nouns: the comparison of equality (as___|__as), the comparison of inequality (more/less than), and the superlative (the most/least). This reference describes the first two forms of comparisons, how to form them, and when to use them.

Comparison of Equality

To say that two nouns are equal, the following formula is used:

Equality Formula

tan + adjective + como (as...as) The adjective must match the first noun as it is the subject of the comparison.

  • Sara es tan alta como tu hermano. (Sara is as tall as your brother.)
  • Tu coche es tan rápido como su coche. (Your car is as fast as his car.)

Comparison of Inequality

To compare two nouns as being different from one another, the following formulas are used:

Inequality Formula

más + adjective + que (more. . .than) OR

menos + adjective + que (less. . .than) The adjective must match the first noun as it is the subject of the comparison.

  • Samuel es más artístico que ella. (Samuel is more artistic than her.)
  • Ella es menos artística que Samuel. (She is less artistic than Samuel.)
  • Una casa es más cara que un coche. (A house is more expensive than a car.)
  • Un coche es menos caro que una casa. (A car is less expensive than a house.)

2 Correct Answers!

Notice that you can state each comparison two ways

  1. A is more ___|__ than B.
  2. B is less ___|__ than A.

You can also compare the inequality of two nouns by negating the comparison of equality:

Negation Formula

no + verb + tan + adjective + como (not as ... as)

  • Pedro no es tan alto como su hermano. (Pedro is not as tall as your brother.)
  • Tu coche no es tan rápido como su coche. (Your car is not as fast as his car.)

Exceptions

There are a few adjectives that can compare nouns without the use of the formulas above. With these adjectives, you do NOT need to use más or menos. The adjective itself is a comparison word and only needs que afterwards to mean "than."

One Word Comparisons

mejor better
peor worse
mayor larger
mayor older
menor younger

  • Soy mayor que mi hermana. (I am older than my sister.)
  • Esta pizza es mejor que esa pizza. (This pizza is better than that pizza.)
  • La segunda película es peor que la primera. (The second movie is worse than the first.)

Exercises

1) Compare the following items with the adjective given using the comparisons of equality or inequality. There is more than one correct way to write each sentence.

Example: la manzana/la sandía (grande) -> La manzana es menos grande que la sandía. -or- La sandía es más grande que la manzana.

  1. Una hamburguesa/una ensalada (saludable)
  2. Bill Gates/yo (rico)
  3. La música hip hop/la música clásica (popular)
  4. Mi perro/un león (amable)
  5. El sol/la luna (brillante)
  6. Mi padre/yo (viejo)

Answers

  1. Una hamburguesa es menos saludable que una ensalada. / Una ensalada es más saludable que una hamburguesa.
  2. Bill Gates es más rico que yo. / Yo soy menos rico que Bill Gates.
  3. La música hip hop es más popular que la música clásica. / La música clásica es menos popular que la música hip hop. / La música hip hop es tan popular como la música clásica.
  4. Mi perro es más amalbe que un león. / Un león es menos amable que mi perro.
  5. El sol es más brillante que la luna. / La luna es menos brillante que el sol.
  6. Mi padre es mayor que yo. / Yo soy menor que mi padre.