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Comparative Adjectives

In Spanish as in English, we use comparatives to express comparisons of superiority, equality, and inferiority.  The comparisons of equality have their own formula.  

a)      To express more… than…, one uses the following forms:

  • When using an adjective, adverb or noun in a comparison, one uses the form:

Verb + más + adjective, adverb, noun + que

Spanish

English

Roberto es más energético que Pablo.

Robert is more energetic than Pablo.

 

  • When comparing two things directly, one uses the form:

Verb + más + que

Spanish

English

Sara lee más que Lisa.

Sara reads more than Lisa.

 
  • When using numbers, one uses the form:

Verb + más + de + number, quantity

Spanish

English

Juan tiene más de 2 perros.

John has more than 2 dogs.

*This form is only valid for affirmative sentences.

  • When comparing two clauses, one uses the form:

Verb + más + adjective, adverb, noun + de lo (la,los,las) que

Spanish

English

Esa montaña es más peligrosa de lo que creemos.

This mountain is more dangerous than we think.

b)      To express less… than…, one uses the following forms:

  • When using an adjective, adverb or noun in a comparison, one uses the form:

Verb + menos + adjective, adverb, noun + que

Spanish

English

Roberto es menos energético que Pablo.

Robert is less energetic than Pablo.

  • When comparing two things directly, one uses the form:

Verb + menos + que

Spanish

English

Sara lee menos que Lisa.

Sara reads less than Lisa.

 
  • When using numbers, one uses the form:

Verb + menos + de + number, quantity

Spanish

English

Juan tiene menos de 2 perros.

John has less than 2 dogs.

*This form is only valid in affirmative sentences.

  • When comparing two clauses, one uses the form:

Verb + menos + adjective, adverb, noun + de lo (la,los,las) que

Spanish

English

Esa montaña es menos peligrosa de lo que creemos.

This mountain is less dangerous than we think.

c)      To express equality, one uses the following forms:

  • When expressing equality regarding people and things, one uses the form:

Verb + tan + adjective, adverb, noun + como

 

Spanish

English

Sara es tan alta como Lisa.

Sara is as tall as Lisa.

 
  • When expressing equality regarding quantity, one uses the form:

Verb + tanto + adjective, adverb, noun + como

 

Spanish

English

Tiene tanto dinero como su hermano.

He has as much money as his brother.

*When using tanto… como…, tanto is a modifier and must agree in gender and singular/plural with the noun.  For example, if there are as many cars as, the statement would be written: Hay tantos coches como….

d)      There are some irregular comparisons. 

  • With bueno (good) and bien(well) one uses mejor.  With malo (bad) and mal (bad) one uses peor

Spanish

English

Spanish

English

Bueno (a)

Good

Malo (a)

Bad

Mejor (que)

Better

Peor (que)

Worse

El (la) mejor (de)

Best

El (la) peor (de)

Worst

  • With joven(young) and pequeño(small) one uses menor.  With Viejo (old) and grande(large) one uses mayor

Spanish

English

Spanish

English

Joven

Young

Viejo (a)

Old

Menor (que)

Younger

Mayor (que)

Older

El (la) menor (de)

Youngest

El (la) mayor (de)

Oldest

 

 

  • Alto(high) and bajo(low)use different words for each level of comparison.

Spanish

English

Spanish

English

Bajo (a)

Low

Alto (a)

High

Inferior

Lower

Superior

Higher

Ínfimo (a)

Lowest

Supremo (a)

Highest