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The Comparison - Part I



Mouse-over Spanish text fragments in red to see English translation
In Spanish, we speak of the comparison when a noun, adjective or adverb appears quantified by the adverbs of quantity "más...que", "menos...que", "tan/tanto...como" or by the phrase "igual de...que".

Comparativo de superioridad

más...que (more/adjective+er...than)

We can use this comparison particle with:
nouns --> Ahora hay más delincuencia que antes.
There is more crime now than before.
adjectives --> Sandra es más guapa que Sara.
Sandra is prettier than Sara.
adverbs --> La casa de mi tío está más lejos que la de mis abuelos.
My uncle's house is farther away than my grandparents.

Comparativo de inferioridad

menos...que (less...than)

We can use this comparison particle with:
nouns -->Mi padre tiene menos dinero que el tuyo.
My father has less money than yours.
adjectives -->Tu rival es menos inteligente que tú.
Your rival is less intelligent than you.

* Although it is grammatically correct to use "menos...que" with adverbs, native Spanish speakers don't do it. Instead, they use "más...que" and the opposite adverb they want to use. For example:

Esa calle está menos lejos que la otra.
That street is less far than the other

. vs.

Esa calle está más cerca que la otra.
That street is closer than the other.

Comparativo de igualdad

tan...como (as...as)

We can use this comparison particle with:
adjectives --> El paraguas de Carlos es tan grande como el de Cristian.
Carlos' umbrella is as big as Cristian´s.
adverbs --> Deberías llegar tan pronto como como puedas.
You should get there as soon as you can.

igual de...que (just as...as)

We can use this comparison particle with:
adjectives --> El atleta que corre por la pista 3 es igual de rápido que el que corre por la pista 5.
The athlete who's running by track 3 is just as fast as the one running by track 5.
adverbs --> El vestido rojo se ve igual de bien que el azul.
The red dress looks just as good as the blue one.

tanto/a/os/as...como* (as...as)

We can use this comparison particle with:
nouns --> En esta clase hay tantos alumnos como en la clase de álgebra.
In this class there's as many students as in Algebra class.

* The use of tanto/a/os/as depends on the gender and number of the noun it precedes.
tanto + singular, masculine noun + como
tanta + singular, femenine noun + como
tantos + plural, masculine noun + como
tantas + plural, femenine noun + como

The following combinations are not possible (instead, just use the bold part of the expression.)
- más/menos/tan mejor...que
- más/menos/tan peor...que
- más/menos/tan mayor...que
- más/menos/tan menor...que
- más/menos/tan superior...que
- más/menos/tan inferior...que

Esa película es más peor que la que vimos la semana pasada. – INCORRECT
Esa película es peor que la que vimos la semana pasada. – CORRECT
That movie is worse than the one we saw last week.