Comparisons of inequality
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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 article describes the comparison 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)

  • Samuel es más artístico que ella. (Samuel is more artistic than her.)
  • Corre más rápido que ella. (He runs faster than her.)
  • Tengo menos libros que ella. (I have less books than her.)

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

Muliple 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

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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