¿Eres el más alto de la familia? ¿Quién es más guapo, tu amigo o tú? ¿Quién es el más chico de tus hermanos? (Are you the tallest in your family? Who is more handsome, your friend or you? Who is the youngest of your siblings?)
If you want to be able to compare in Spanish, then you need these essential chunks!
I am Spring Spanish teacher Maria Fernanda and here is your first chunk.
Más o Menos que (More or less than…)
Instead of giving you a theoretical explanation (which we don’t do in here) let’s just take a look at some examples right away!
When you’re comparing adjectives, for example, quicker, prettier, noisier; then, watch out! Because in Spanish you need to follow the noun gender rules. For example:
- Este vestido está más bonito que aquel. (This dress is prettier than that one.) So we are using BonitO because we are referring to “el vestido”.
What is the pattern in here?
Más ___adjective__ qué
What about if we have a feminine word? Let’s say:
- La vecina de la derecha es más ruidosa que la de la izquierda. (The neighbor from the right is noisier than the one from the left.) We are saying ruidosA, and that is because we are referring to “la vecina”.
Now I am going to give you more examples, but now using things. And with things, we do not need to remember the noun gender rules. This is way easier. For example:
- En la Riviera Maya hay más monumentos que en la Riviera Nayarita. (In the Mayan Riviera there are more monuments than in Nayarit Riviera.)
- En Bélgica hay más cervezas que en México. (In Belgium, there are more beers than in Mexico.)
So, the pattern remains the same. What do you have to remember about this lesson? Is that you are comparing things or adjectives as MÁS _____ QUÉ.
Now, how about “less than”? Amazingly, they follow the same patterns. Let’s take a look at the following examples.
- La playa en Mahahual está menos llena que la de Cancún. (Mahahual’s beach is less full than Cancun’s beach.) That’s a female noun, we’re talking about “la playa”.
What about if we are talking about a masculine word?
- Este pantalón es menos caro que aquel. (These pants are cheaper than those one). So we are using carO, because we are talking about “el pantalón”.
Other examples with “less than” using things, it’s the same thing as I just explained. Let’s see:
- Inglaterra tiene menos población que Estados Unidos. (England has a smaller population than the United States.)
- Siempre viajo con menos equipaje que mi hermana. (I always travel with less luggage than my sister.)
Does that make sense yet? Listen, the easiest way to start using this correctly is by learning the chunks from the example sentences here (and of course other sentences that you might hear).
Students in our Inner Circle get flashcards with the chunks from this lesson and all our other (hundreds of) lessons that we have in our channel; if you’d like to try it out, don’t forget to check the link in the description!
What happens when you want to compare verbs? The only thing that changes, is that you must put the verb before the pattern that you just learned. For example:
- María come más que Sofía. (María eats more than Sofia.)
So we are comparing who eats more. And for less?
- Ese perro corre menos que aquel. (That dog runs less than that one.)
So as you can see, the pattern is very easy (verb) más que or (verb) menos que. Easy?
In any case, here’s a quick overview on how to compare things in Spanish:
|Más ________ que menos_______que Adjetivo cosas||More__________ thanless___________than Adjective things|
|______más que______menos queverbo||_____ more than_____ less thanverb|
Now, a quick warning here! How do you compare…
Better than or worse than
¿Qué pasa cuando quieres decir que algo es (What happens if you want to say something is): better than or worse than?
I know what you’re thinking:
ACTOR 1 as a confused student
¡Maestra María Fernanda! Obviamente es más mejor… or wait, maybe is…. más bueno or más bien…
(Teacher María Fernanda! Obviously it is more better… or wait maybe is… more good or more good?)
ACTOR 2 as teacher
(Looking at the camera with a mocking face)
I told you… and you’re wrong.
Well, just like in English there is not such thing as “more better” or “less worse” right? So here are the exceptions to this rule.
When you want to say something is better we use the word mejor, and if you wanna say something is worse, then we use peor.
- La comida mexicana es mejor que la comida alemana. (Mexican food is better than German food.)
- La situación actual es peor que la situación del año pasado. (The current situation is worse than last year.)
ACTOR 1 as a student
Teacher, do we have other words that follow this rule?
Buena pregunta! Sí (Good question! Yes). The other two words are youngest and oldest, and we say mayor o menor qué.
- Mi hermana es mayor que yo. (My sister is older than me.)
- Mi papá es menor que mi tío. (My father is younger than my uncle.)
Alright, let’s move on to the next part of the lesson, where I am going to teach you how to speak about equals.
Again, let’s start with some examples first, so you’ll understand how it works right away!
- Karen es tan bonita como Ana. (Karen is as pretty as Ana.)
Remember! Karen and Ana are girls, therefore we stick to the adjective bonitA, whereas if I say:
- Un Audi es tan rápido como un BMW. (An Audi is as fast as a BMW.)
Then remember than un carro (a car) is considered a male word, and that is why we are going to change to rápidO.
→ what’s the pattern? That’s right: tan __adjective__ como !
What if we want to compare equal verbs?
- En Berlín llueve tanto como en Londres. (In Berlin it rains as much as in London.)
- Una pieza de pan no cuesta tanto como 1 kilo de tortillas. (One piece of bread doesn’t cost as much as 1 kg of tortillas.)
Yep… you got the pattern, right? So ___verb____ tanto como
Finally…, let’s take a look at comparing equal nouns or things. This one mis amigos, is a bit tricky, because you will have to match the noun gender and if they are singular or plural. So, let’s take a look at the following examples:
- María tiene los mismos gustos que Mariana. (Maria has the same likes as Mariana.)
- Juan tiene el mismo perro que su vecino. (Juan has the same dog as his neighbor.)
- Este antro toca las mismas canciones que el antro de ayer. (This nightclub plays the same songs as yesterday’s nightclub.)
- Tú tienes la misma nariz que tu mamá. (You have the same nose as your mom.)
That was easy? No worries mis amigos, time for a quick overview :
|tan ________ como Adjetivo adverbio||as__________ as Adjective adverb|
|______ tanto comoVerbo||_______ Verb|
|El + mismo + ________ queLa + misma + ________ queLos + mismos + ________ queLas + mismas + ________ que Sustantivo Cosas||The+ same+ ______ than Noun things|
But please POR FAVOR, don’t learn this table by heart! Just memorize the chunks from the example and you won’t need this table at all!