TASK 1 - Focus on Grammar
Comparisons in Chinese
比字句 bǐ zìjù
The formula for the comparison is relatively simple. Noun A is more [adjective] than Noun B. Where Noun A is the reference point for comparison.
今天比昨天热。jīntiān bǐ zuótiān rè
Today is hotter than yesterday
昨天比今天冷。zuótiān bǐ jīntiān lěng
Yesterday was colder than today.
你比你爸爸高。nǐ bǐ nǐ bàba gāo
You are taller than your dad.
Important things to note:
- 很 cannot be used in the comparison
- The adjective cannot be negated using 不
- The 比 comparison is used when two things are not the same, thus 一样, cannot be used
更 can be added to the formula above, where 更 means “even more”. This sentence structure implies that Noun B is [adjective] however, Noun A is even more so.
广东话比普通话更难。guǎngdōnghuà bǐ pǔtōnghuà gèng nán
Cantonese is even more difficult than Mandarin.
老虎比狮子更大。lǎohǔ bǐ shīzǐ gèngdà
Tigers are even bigger than lions.
俄罗斯的冬天比波兰的(冬天)更冷。Éluósī de dōngtiān bǐ bōlán de (dōngtiān) gèng lěng
Russia’s winters are even colder than Poland’s (winters).
Is another form of comparison in Chinese, however the connotation is slightly different. 比 comparison is used when Noun A is more [adjective] than Noun B, whilst 有 comparison is used to state that Noun A is ‘as [adjective] as’ Noun B. 没有 comparison is very similar except it states that
Noun A is ‘not as [adjective] as’ Noun B.
你妈妈有你爸爸的年纪吗？nǐ māma yǒu nǐ bàba de niánjì ma?
Is your mum the same age as your dad?
我妈妈没有我爸爸的年纪。wǒ māma méiyǒu wǒ bàba de niánjì.
My mum is not the same age as my dad.
这本书有那本书贵吗？zhèběn shū yǒu nà běnshū guì ma?
Is this book as expensive as that book?
这本书有那本书贵。zhèběn shū yǒu nà běnshū guì.
This book is as expensive as that book.
A有B+这么+Adjective and A没有B+那么+Adjective
This form of comparison builds on the formula explained above. However, the difference is that this formula compares Noun A to Noun B, where Noun B is a reference point, to compare whether Noun A has reached the state of Noun B. In this instance 这么 means “this” and 那么 means “that”.
这个橙子有柠檬那么酸。zhège chéngzi yǒu níngméng nàme suān
This orange is as sour as a lemon.
德国没有法国那么大。déguó méiyǒu fǎguó nàme dà
Germany is not as big as France.
我的车没有他的车这么快。wǒde chē méiyǒu tā de chē zhème kuài
My car is not a fast as his car.
This is not an exhaustive list of comparisons in Chinese, I may continue this grammar topic in a future post.
I used “Chiński - Gramatyka z ćwiczeniami” (a Chinese grammar book in Polish) to deepen my understanding on this topic before making this post.