Comparison in Chinese

Different approaches can be used to compare in Chinese. The most typical follow the formula X 比  Y + gradable adjective and use the preposition 比  “compared with.”

你比我聪明。Nǐ bǐ wǒ cōngmíng. (You are smarter than me.)

我弟弟比我高。Wǒ dìdì bǐ wǒ gāo. (My brother is taller than me.)

夏天比冬天热。Xiàtiān bǐ dōngtiān rè. (Summer is hotter than winter.)

Adverbs of degree such as 很 hěn ‘very,’ 非常 fēicháng, 十分 shífēn’ significantly,’ etc. cannot be used to modify the adjective.

These examples are all wrong: 

*你比我很聪明。Nǐ bǐ wǒ hěn cōngmíng. (You are more intelligent than me.) Wrong

*我弟弟比我十分高。Wǒ dìdì bǐ wǒ shí fèn gāo. (My brother is significantly taller than me.) Wrong

*夏天比冬天非常热。Xiàtiān bǐ dōngtiān fēicháng rè. (Summer is much hotter than winter.) Wrong

A comparison that is emphatic or specific

The adjectives 更 gèng or 还 hái both mean “even more” and can be used to emphasize the degree of comparison:

这件衬衫比那件更贵。Zhè jiàn chènshān bǐ nà jiàn gèng guì. (This shirt is more expensive than that one.)

一月比十二月还冷。Yī yuè bǐ shí’èr yuè hái lěng. (January is colder than December.)

你家比我家还大。Nǐ jiā bǐ wǒjiā hái dà. (Your house is bigger than mine.)

Alternatively, by supplementing the adjectives with a variety of degree complements:

我比我弟弟大两岁。Wǒ bǐ wǒ dìdì dà liǎng suì. (I am two years older than my brother.)

这件衬衫比那件贵得多。Zhè jiàn chènshān bǐ nà jiàn guì dé duō. (This shirt is much more expensive than that one.)

苹果比香蕉好吃多了。Píngguǒ bǐ xiāngjiāo hào chī duōle. (Apples are much tastier than bananas.)

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Negative contrast

A negative comparison can be presented in two ways:

(1) By putting 不  before 比  or 如  (X is not greater than… than Y):

你的房间不如我的大。Nǐ de fángjiān bùrú wǒ de dà. (Your room is not as big as mine.)

他不比你高。Tā bùbǐ nǐ gāo. (He is not taller than you.)

咖啡不如可乐好喝。Kāfēi bùrú kělè hǎo hē. (Coffee is not as good as Coke.)

(2) By expressing X 没(有) méi(yǒu) Y 那么/这么 (nàme/ zhème ‘so’) adjective (X is not so … as Y):

春天没有冬天这么冷。Chūntiān méiyǒu dōngtiān zhème lěng. (Spring is not as cold as winter.)

他没有我弟弟那么高。Tā méiyǒu wǒ dìdì nàme gāo. (He is not as tall as my brother.)

挪威菜没有中国菜那么好吃。Nuówēi cài méiyǒu zhòng guó cài nàme hào chī. (Norwegian food is not as good as Chinese food.)

Equivalence or similarity in comparison

When you use the adjective 一样 yīyàng, which means “the same,” in the sentence pattern “X 跟gēn Y 一样 yīyàng,”  it conveys equivalence or similarity.

我跟你一样大。Wǒ gēn nǐ yīyàng dà. (I am as old as you.)

他跟我弟弟一样高。Tā gēn wǒ dìdì yīyàng gāo. (He is as tall as my brother.)

中国菜跟挪威菜一样好吃。Zhōngguó cài gēn nuówēi cài yīyàng hào chī. (Chinese food is as good as Norwegian food.)

 

 

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