How to Make Comparisons in Spanish

When you are learning Spanish one of the things that you will want to learn is how to compare things. Even if you don’t like judging things or people, in everyday life you often need to compare things to make simple decisions.

For example, you may be discussing with friends which bar you want to go to, which meal you want to order or suggest to someone else to order.

Here are the rules to make comparisons in Spanish:

1. más/menos + adjective + que

Juan es más trabajador que María.
Juan is more hard-working than Maria.

Make sure the adjective agrees with the first noun:

La niña es más alta que el niño.
The girl is taller than the boy.

La chaqueta marrón es menos cara que la chaqueta negra.
The brown jacket is less expensive than the black jacket.

2. Más/menos + adverb + que

Señor Perez habla más despacio que Señora Moreno.
Mr Perez speaks more slowly than Mrs Moreno.

3. Más/menos + noun + que

Ella tiene más libros que él.
She has more books than him.

Remember: Use “de” when comparing numbers:

Hay más de veinte alumnos en la clase.
There are more than 20 pupils in the class.

BUT not when negative:

No hay más que veinte alumnos en la clase.
There are no more than 20 pupils in the class.

When things are equal:

If two things are the same and you want to say something is “as … as …” then use the following structure:

Tan + adjective + como

El coche azul es tan rápido como el coche negro.
The blue car is as fast as the red car.

Again, make sure the adjective agrees:

La falda rosa es tan bonita como la falda blanca.
The pink skirt is as pretty as the white skirt.

Or you may need an adverb:

Tan + adverb + como

Susana habla español tan bien como Felipe.
Susana speaks Spanish as well as Felipe.

When using nouns, you would use:

Tanto/a/os/as + noun + como

Jorge tiene tantos libros como Gloria.
Jorge has as many books as Gloria.

Make sure “tanto” agrees with the noun:

Carlos tiene tanto dinero como su hermano.
Carlos has as much money as his brother.

Mi prima lee tantas revistas como mi amigo.
My cousin reads as many magazines as my friend.

Using superlatives in Spanish

Sometimes you want to say that something is the most … or the least …
To do this you use the following structure:

El/la + más/menos + de

Esta casa es la más bonita de la calle.
This house is the prettiest in the street.

Notice the use of “de” for “in” rather than “en”.

Also you need to make sure you use the correct ending of the adjective to agree with the noun.

Esos chicos son los más traviesos de la clase.
Those boys are the naughtiest in the class.

Whereas:

Esas chicas son las más traviesas de la clase.
Those girls are the naughtiest in the class.

Omitting the noun:

You can even take out the noun and simplify it to:

Esas son las más traviesas de la clase.
Those are the naughtiest in the class.

The best and the worst

Two superlatives that are really useful are:

El/la/(los/las) mejor(es) – the best
El/la/(los/las) peor(es) – the worst

La paella es el mejor plato del restaurante.
The paella is the best dish in the restaurant.

Estos calamares son los mejores del pueblo.
This squid is the best in the town.

El lunes es el peor día de la semana.
Monday is the worst day of the week.

Estas manzanas son las peores del mercado.
These apples are the worst in the market.

-ísimo/a/os/as

Another way to add emphasis to what you are comparing and to make what you are saying sound more interesting is to use –ísimo on the end of adjectives to mean “extremely …”

¡Este bistec está buenísimo! – This steak is really good!
¡Estos pasteles están riquísimos! – These cakes are really tasty!

You can learn more about this in the following blog post:
“What does –ísimo mean in Spanish?”

 
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