Comparisons & Superlatives

Emily Killian

Comparisons

Overview

Comparisons are used when comparing two items, and there are two ways of doing so. The first is a comparison of inequality, and the second is a comparison of equality.

Comparisons of Inequality

An example of a comparison of inequality in English is "my dog is faster than a cheetah". This is saying that adjective is being applied unequally to the nouns, or one has more or less of that adjective than the other one. In English, "er" is normally added to the adjective followed by the word than to compare it with the other noun.


In Spanish, we have to say "more/less adj. than". We do that by using "más/menos adj. que".


Example in Spanish: Mi perro es más rápido que un leopardo cazador. My dog is faster than a cheetah.


In the same way as adjectives, comparisons of inequality can also be done with nouns, adverbs, and verbs. Here are some examples:


Adverb example: Mi perro corre más rápidamente que un leopardo cazador. My dog runs more quickly than a cheetah.


Noun example: Yo tengo más perros que mi madre. I have more dogs than my mother.


There is also something different about using verbs with unequal comparisons- the más/menos que comes after the verb, it's not in the middle of the two.


Verb example: Yo corro más que mi madre. I run more than my mom.



However, there are some irregulars:


DON'T USE: DO USE:

más bueno ------------------> mejor (better)

más malo --------------------> peor (worse)

más joven/pequeno -----> menor (younger)

más viejo/grande ---------> mayor (older)

Comparisons of Equality

An example of a comparison of equality in English is "my dog is as fast as a cheetah". This is saying that the adjective is applied equally to the nouns, and that they both have the same amount of that adjective being applied to them.


We do this in Spanish by saying "tan adj. como".


Adjective example: Mi perro es tan rápido como un leopardo cazador. My dog is as fast as a cheetah.


Just like with comparisons of inequality, comparisons of equality can be done with adverbs, nouns, and verbs as well.


Adverb example: Mi perro corre tan rápidamente como un leopardo cazador. My dog runs as quickly as a cheetah.


With nouns, we have to use tanto noun como instead of tan, and tanto changes based on the noun it's being used with.


tanto tantos

tanta tantas


This is in order to say "as much/many _____ as".


Noun examples:

Yo tengo tanto agua como mi hermano. I have as much water as my brother.

Yo tengo tantos perros como mi madre. I have as many dogs as my mother.

Yo tengo tanta tarea como mi amigo. I have as much homework as my friend.

Yo tengo tantas camisas como mi hermana. I have as many clothes as my sister.


Just like with unequal comparisons with verbs, there is also something different about using verbs with equal comparisons- the tanto como comes after the verb, it isn't in the middle of them.


Verb example: Yo corro tanto como mi madre. I run as much as my mother.

Superlatives

Superlatives don't compare two things, they just make an absolute statement about a noun, in general, or based on its surroundings.


An absolute statement can be something like: My dog is the fastest.

A surrounding statement can be something like: My dog is the fastest in the neighborhood.


In order to make an absolute statement, you take the article of the noun you're describing, add the comparing word, and then the adjective.


Mi perro es el más rápido. My dog is the fastest.


I got "el" from "perro" which is masculine.


You can also use "menos" statements, but they change the meaning slightly in English.


Mi perro es el menos rápido. My dog is the least fast.


In order to make a surrounding statement, you simply take the same formula and add "de" and the group you're talking about.


Mi perro es el más rápido del barrio. My dog is the fastest in the neighborhood.


As for irregular superlatives, you don't use más bueno or más malo, just like comparisons. You would use mejor and peor for best and worst once again, but you still include the article for superlatives.


Sandy es el mejor perro del barrio. Sandy is the best dog in the neighborhood.

Practice

Multiple Choice

1. Mi padre es más gracioso _____ mi hermano.

a- como

b- que

c- tan

d- de


2. Translate: My teacher is smarter than the principal.

a- Mi profesor es inteligente del principal.

b- Mi profesor es menos inteligente del principal.

c- Mi profesor es más inteligente del principal.

d- Mi profesor es más inteligente que el principal.


3. Translate: My best friend sings better than my other friends.

a- Mi mejor amigo canta mejor que mis otros amigos.

b- Mi mejor amigo cantar más que mis otros amigos.

c- Mi mejor amigo canta más bueno que mis otros amigos.

d- Mi mejor amigo es más buen de mis otros amigos.


4. Translate: My family has more food at the party than anyone else. Mi familia tiene más comida a la fiesta que nadie.

a- True

b- False


5. Translate: I cook less than my grandmother.

a- Yo cocino menos que mi abuela.

b- Yo menos cocino que mi abuela.

c- Yo cocino menos de mi abuela.

Free Response

1. Translate: My sister is as small as a mouse.


2. My mother is as sweet as sugar. Mi madre es _____ dulce _____ azúcar.


3. Translate: My brother speaks as slowly as a sloth.


4. Yo no tengo ______ gatos _______ mi madre.


5. Translate: I dance as much as my friends.

Matching

1. Mi bebida es la más grande.

2. Yo soy el menos corto de mi familia.

3. Mi comida es la peor.

4. Mi gato es el menos gordo de mis gatos.

5. Mi pelo es el más largo de mis amigos.


a. My hair is the longest of my friends.

b. My food is the worst.

c. I am the shortest in my family.

d. My drink is the largest.

e. My cat is the least fat of my cats.