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Inequality, equality and superlatives

Inequality, equality and superlatives | Rules


learn spanish Comparisons of Inequality/Equality/Superlatives
Read about inequality, equality and superlatives in Spanish. Learn to apply Spanish grammar rules with online lessons. Learn more about helpful tips on how to improve your language.

Note: Inequality is expressed by using one of the following formula:

más (menos) + adjective + que
más (menos) + adverb + que
más (menos) + noun + que

 

e.g.

Tú eres más alta que yo. –You are taller than me.

Ella es más inteligente que tu prima. She is more intelligent than your cousin

Nosotros tenemos menos materiales que ellos.- We have less materials than them

 

Note: If the comparative is followed by a number, use “de” rather than “que”.

e.g.

Hay menos de cuarenta profesores – There are fewer than forty teachers

Él tiene más de cien  años. – He is more than one hundred years old.

 

Note: When the sentence is negative, “que” is used even with numbers, to convey the meaning “only”

e.g.

No tengo más que diez dólares. (I only have ten dollars.)

 No hay más que cuarenta profesores (There are only forty teachers.)

 

Comparisons of Inequality/Equality/Superlatives in Spanish

Comparisons of equality

Note: The comparisons of “equality using adjectives or adverbs”, use the following formula:

tan + adjective (adverb) + como

e.g.

La chica es tan alta como yo (The girl is as tall as me)

Este helado está tan bueno como ese (This ice cream is as good as that one)


Note: To form comparisons of “equality with nouns”, use the following formula:

tanto(-a,-os,-as) + noun + como

e.g.

Ella tiene tanto dinero como yo. (as much money as)

Él tiene tanta paciencia como ella. (as much patience as)

Tiene tantas carteras como ella. (as many handbags as)

Ella tiene tantos lápices como tú. (as many pencils as)

 

Note: Choose the form of “tanto” to agree with the noun it modifies.

e.g.

tanto dinero
tanta paciencia
tantas carteras

Note: When actions (not things) are being compared, and there is no adjective, use the following formula:

verb + tanto + como

e.g.

Sus hijos comen tanto como mis hijos. (eat as much as)

Ella limpia  tanto como Luisa. (cleans  as much as)

Los mangos cuestan tanto como las uvas (cost as much as)


Note: When actions (not things) are being compared, and there is an adjective, use the following formula:

verb + tan + adjective (masculine form) + como

e.g.

Aquí se trabaja tan duro como ahí. (work as hard as)

El niño baila tan poco como la niña. (dances as little as)

Ellos comen tan poco como ella. (eat as little as)

                                                    Inequality, Equality, Superlatives

Superlatives

 

There are two types of superlative: “relative” and “absolute”. The relative superlative describes a noun within the context of some larger group. The absolute superlative does not describe the noun in the context of a larger group.

e.g.

Relative: Carlos es el más pequeño de la escuela – Carlos is the shortest boy in the school
Absolute: Carlos es muy pequeño – Carlos is very short.

 

Note: In Spanish, the relative superlative construction is similar to the comparative.

definite article + noun + más (menos) + adjective + de

e.g.

Lula es la chica más rápida de la clase. Lula is the fastest girl in the class.

Ese es el plátano más verde de la cesta. That is the greenest banana in the basket.


Tip: The noun can be omitted. 

e.g.

Lula es la chica más rápida de la clase. Lula is the fastest girl in the class.

Lula es la chica más rápida de la clase. Lula is the fastest in the class.


Note: The absolute superlative for adjectives has three possible forms.

muy + adjective
sumamente + adjective
adjective +
ísimo (-a, -os, -as)

e.g.

muy grande – very big

sumamente grande – extremely big

grandísimo – indescribably big

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