Making Comparisons

There are two basic kinds of comparisons that can be made: comparisons of inequality and comparisons of equality. You can learn to make both types of comparisons in Spanish easily by memorizing a few basic formulas. Let’s first look at comparisons of inequality.

Comparisons of Inequality

To make comparisons of inequality in Spanish, simply follow these basic formulas:

For adjectives or adverbs:

más/menos + [adj. or adv.] + que more/less + [adj. or adv.] + than

For nouns:

más/menos + [noun] + que more/less(fewer) + [noun] + than

For verbs

más/menos que more/less than

The following examples show how the above formulas work:

Yo soy más inteligente que Miguel. I am more intelligent than Miguel.
Mis padres tienen más dinero que mi tío. My parents have more money than my uncle.
Yo tengo menos libros que tú. I have fewer books than you do.
La cocina tiene menos espacio que la sala. The kitchen has less space than the living room.
Mi novia estudia más que yo. My girlfriend studies more than I do.

The only real challenge is to remember that there is no convenient er in Spanish as there is in English (taller, shorter, bigger, etc.). In Spanish, you must literally say more tall than, more short than, more big than, etc. Let’s look at a few more examples.

Juan es más alto que Juanita. Juan is taller than Juanita.
El baño es más pequeño que la sala. The bathroom is smaller than the living room.
Mi mamá es más baja que mi padre. My mom is shorter than my dad.
Mis hijos son más inteligentes que tus hijos. My kids are smarter than your kids.

There are a few exceptions to the above formulas that you should be aware of. They are listed below.

mejor quebetter thanYo juego mejor que tú.I play better than you do.
peor queworse thanEsta película es peor que la otra.This movie is worse than the other one.
mayor queolder thanMi hermano es mayor que nosotros.My brother is older than we are.
menor queyounger thanYolanda es menor que mi prima.Yolanda is younger than my cousin.

Comparisons of Equality

You will use different formulas to make comparisons of equality. Take extra care to remember that como replaces que in these expressions!

For adjectives/adverbs:

tan + [adj. or adv.] + como as + [adj. or adv.] + as

For nouns:

tanto(a)(os)(as) + [noun] + como as + much/many [noun] + as

For verbs:

tanto como as much as

Below are some examples of the these formulas. Again, the main challenge for the student is to remember that como is used instead of que when making comparisons of equality.

Yo soy tan rico como mi hermano. I am as rich as my brother.
Mi perro es tan grande como tu perro. My dog is as big as your dog.
María tiene tantas computadoras como su hermana. María has as many computers as her sister.
Yo tengo tantos libros como usted. I have as many books as you do.
Juan sabe tanto como su profesor. Juan knows as much as his teacher.
Yo estudio tanto como los otros estudiantes. I study as much as the other students.




Superlatives

Superlatives are used to say that someone or something is the smartest, biggest, smallest, etc. Use this basic formula to form superlatives.

el/la/los/las + [noun] + más/menos + [adjective] de

The following examples show how the above formula works.

Juan es el estudiante más inteligente de la clase. Juan is the smartest student in the class.
La Biblia es el libro más largo de mi colección. The Bible is the longest book in my collection.
Roberto es el chico menos estudioso de la clase. Roberto is the least studious kid in the class.
Laura es la chica más bonita de la clase. Laura is the prettiest girl in the class.

There are a few irregular superlative forms that you should be familiar with. They are listed below.

el/la mejor the best Miguel es el mejor estudiante de mi clase. Miguel is the best student in my class.
el/la peor the worstMónica es la peor actriz del mundo. Mónica is the worst actress in the world.
el/la mayor the oldest Carlos es el mayor de mis hijos. Carlos is the oldest of my children.
el/la menor the youngest Jorge es el menor de todos los jugadores. Jorge is the youngest of all the players.


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