Japanese/Grammar/Comparisons

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ComparativeEdit

The main methods of constructing comparative sentences use the words "より" and "(ほう)". They can be used individually or together. The former indicates inferiority while the latter superiority (but note that superiority can indicate "lower", "cheaper", "smaller", etc).

<superior object> の方が <inferior object> より <adjective> です

Let's look at a few examples asserting that pizza (ピザ) is more delicious than sushi (寿司(すし)). Take the noun that is superior (in this case, more delicious) and affix "の(ほう)が" to it. Then, take the inferior noun and append it with "より":

ピザの方が寿司より

This essentially means "Pizza is more than sushi." but we have yet to explain in what fashion pizza out-does sushi. In this case, we are describing how delicious so we choose "おいしい". To be polite, we will add the polite copula "です" to the end of the sentence.

ピザの方が寿司よりおいしいです。

The adjective can be changed to anything you'd like.

ピザの方が寿司より(くさ)いです。// Pizza is smellier than sushi.
ピザの方が寿司より(やす)いです。// Pizza is cheaper than sushi.

VariationsEdit

It doesn't matter which part comes first; "〜の方が" or "〜より" so the following are both grammatically correct:

ピザの方が寿司よりおいしいです。
寿司よりピザの方がおいしいです。

The adjective, however, must always come last with the copula.

One may drop one of "より" or "の方" when the comparison is clear from context.

そのピザはおいしいですか? — Is that pizza tasty?
はい、でも寿司の方がおいしかったです。 — Yes, but the sushi was tastier.
はい、寿司よりです。 — Yes, better than the sushi.

Though it is not standard, "の方が" can be replaced with "は". Some people may find this easier to remember.

Instead of "より", you can say "よりも". This is mostly restricted to speech and adds emphasis. Others may use it simply because they like to say it instead of plain "より". You can choose for yourself which you'd like to use.

ピザの方が寿司よりもおいしいですよ!

There is also "もっと" which means "more" or "to a greater degree".

一緒だともっと楽しいです。 — It's more enjoyable together.

SuperlativeEdit

In Japanese one can express the superlative by stating that it is "the most ~", or that is "more ~ than anything/anyone".

The most ~Edit

Depending on formality, you may use "もっとも" or "一番" (いちばん, e. number one). The superlative is formed by prepending this to the adjective.

(<subject> は/が) もっとも
一番
<adjective> です
一番おいしい // The most delicious.
一番(たか)い // The most expensive (or The highest).
一番(なが)い // The longest.
一番(かな)しい // The saddest.

With a subject:

一番素敵(すてき)(ひと)です。 // The greatest person.
彼女(かのじょ)にとって、(わたし)一番(いちばん)素敵(すてき)(ひと)です。// From my girlfriend's point of view, I am the greatest person.

You can also modify a noun by placing it after the adjective. Take a look at these examples:

この小説(しょうせつ)は一番有名(ゆうめい)です。 // This novel is the most famous.
これは一番有名(ゆうめい)小説(しゅうせつ)です。 // This is the most famous novel.
その映画(えいが)は一番(かな)しいです。// That movie is the saddest.
それは一番(かな)しい映画(えいが)です。// That is the saddest movie.

More than anythingEdit

This method has two forms with the same structure, but a different word depending on whether it refers to something that is animate or inanimate.

animate <Name, pronoun or creature> (だれ) より (Adjective) です。
inanimate <Noun> (なに)

Instead of just "(なに)より"or "(だれ)より", you can say "(なに)よりも" or "(だれ)よりも". It's up to you which form you choose to use. Here are some examples!

(かあ)さんは誰より(こい)しいです。 // I miss my mother more than anyone.
この手紙(てがみ)は何より大切(たいせつ)です! // This letter is more important to me than anything!
この(うた)は何よりもきれいですね。 // This song is prettier than anything, isn't it?

See alsoEdit

Last modified on 26 June 2012, at 09:01