Comparisons of Inequality in Spanish

Overview

In general, there are three ways to compare nouns: the comparison of equality (as_as), the comparisons of inequality (more/less than), and the superlative (the most/least). This article describes the comparisons of inequality, or when things are being compared that are different.

Comparisons of Inequality

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

  • más + adjective/adverb/noun + que (more. . .than)

—OR—

  • menos + adjective/adverb/noun + que (less. . .than)
Sara es más artística que su hermano.
Sara is more artistic than her brother.
 
Marissa corre más rápido que sus compañeros de equipo.
Marissa runs faster than her teammates.
 
Tengo menos libros que ella.
I have fewer books than she does.
 

The adjective must match the first noun as it is the subject of the comparison.

Multiple Correct Answers!

Notice that you can state each comparison two ways:

1. A is more _ than B.

La pizza es más sabrosa que la calabaza.
Pizza is more delicious than squash.
 

2. B is less _ than A.

La calabaza es menos sabrosa que la pizza.
Squash is less delicious than pizza.
 

Negating the Equality

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

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

Pedro no es tan alto como su hermano.
I am not as tall as your brother.
 
Tu coche no es tan rápido como el suyo.
Your car is not as fast as his.
 

Exceptions

If the comparative is followed by a number, use de rather than que for affirmative statements or questions.

más/menos + de + number

Hay más de cinco personas aquí.
There are more than five people here.
 
¿Tienes más de veinte dólares?
Do you have more than twenty dollars?
 

However, if the comparative is followed by a number and is negative, you will use que to mean only.

más/menos + que + number

No hay más que cinco personas aquí.
There are only five people in here.
 
No tengo más que veinte dólares.
I only have twenty dollars.
 

Single Word Comparisons

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

SpanishEnglish
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.
 

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