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Comparisons

Are we all the same?
 

Can you compare yourself to other people?
Can you compare something you have with the same thing that belongs to someone else?
Can you compare different animals?


Most things are not the same, that is to say that while they may have the same basic description, they probably have different values of that description.  For example, an elephant is big, and so is a rhinoceros.  However, they are not equal.  Which is bigger?

Let's learn how to make these comparisons in Spanish.
 


Comparisons of inequality
(things are not the same)
In English we mostly use "er", but...

If we are comparing items in Spanish, we use one of the cuatro following expressions*
 

adjective comparison:

ejemplo: (Juan mide 6'10"; Paco mide 6'8") Juan es más alto que Paco; Paco es menos alto que Juan.
 

adverb comparison

ejemplo:  (Clara conduce a 60 k/h; Carlota conduce a 70 k/h)  Clara conduce menos rápidamente que Carlota; Carlota conduce más rápidamente que Clara.
 

noun comparison

ejemplo: (Alicia tiene $20; Pedro tiene $30) Alicia tiene menos dinero que Pedro; Pedro tiene más dinero que Alicia.
 

verb comparison

ejemplo:  (Marcos corre 5 millas cada día;  María corre 6 millas cada día)  María corre más que Marcos; Marcos corre menos que María.
 


¡Vamos a practicar! Use the following sets of information to compose comparisons.  For each section, write two comparisons with "más" and two with "menos".
 

Go check you answers.

*Note:  Before numbers, unless the sentence is negative, "que" changes to "de".
ejemplos:  Tengo más de veinte libros en mi amario.  Ella me paga más de cien dólares.

BUT: No tengo más que cinco amigos.
Now, go to studyspanish.com and review this material and take the quiz and test.  Your teacher will have more assignments for you to help you learn and master this cool stuff!  When you come back here, go on to the next section - comparisons of equality.

Comparisons of Equality
Occasionally things are equal, but we can still compare them.  For example, let's say a lion is ferocious, and so is a tiger.  In fact, let's say they are equally ferocious: A tiger is as ferocious as a lion.

In order to make these comparisons, we use the following construction:
 

So a tiger is "tan feroz como" a lion.
or
..."corre tan rapidamente como"...

If you are comparing nouns, use

"tanto* + noun + como".
El tigre tiene tantos dientes como el león.
*"tanto" is an adjective (=as much/as many) and therefore must agree with the noun. (tanto dinero, tanta tarea, tantos libros, tantas sillas, etc.)

Go straight to studyspanish.com and review this lesson.  Do the activities and take the test.  Whnen you return, go to the section on superlatives.


Superlatives

Which is the tallest animal?
Which is the smallest?
Which is the fastest?

How would you express this en español?

Use the formula that follows:

 el (la,los,las) + noun [if necessary] + más (menos) + adjective + de + group
=
the  most (least) adjective/noun in the group

Some examples-they may or may not be true, but they are correct...Can you figure out what they mean?

El tigre es el gato más grande de todos los gatos salvajes.
La ballena azul es el animal más grande de los mamiferos.
El pavo es el animal más estupido detodos los animales.

So, let's say we want to make superlatives out of people in the class.  I'll provide the name and the adjective, you write the sentence.

use: estudiante for the noun

Juana/inteligente
Marta/tonta
Juan/serio
Marcos/alto
Carlota/cómica
Pedro/listo

Check your answers

Now go visit studyspanish.com, do the activities and take the test.  Be careful while there, they include some information not included on my page.  When you return, go to "Irregular comparatives".
 

Irregular comparatives

 
*As in English there are a few "irregular" comparatives.  We don't say "gooder" or "badder", we say "better" or "worse".  In Spanish, the following are the irregulars-they do not use the "más". Also, I've never seen "menos" with one of these words:
 
bueno/bien (good/well) > mejor (better)
malo/mal (bad, badly) > peor (worse)
viejo (old); grande (big) > mayor  (older, bigger)
joven (young) > menor (younger)
Visit studyspanish.com, and do the activities and take the test.
 


Comparaciones iniguales: