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Simple Comparisons Posted by on May 27, 2010 in grammar, Pronunciation, Vocabulary

When speaking Mandarin, there are several ways to make comparisons between people, places, and things.

Positive Comparisons

1. He is taller than she.  他比她高 -ta1bi3ta1gao1
2. He is taller than she.  他高过她 -ta1gao1guo4ta1

I have always found that the second structure is more comfortable, albeit more of a vernacular formation which I have encountered more in the south of China than in the north.

Negative Comparisons

Note that to make a negative comparison, it usually follows the form of “not as _[trait]__ as __[subject]__.” To make a negative comparison, you generally use 没有 (mei2you3) or 不如 (bu4ru2)  rather than the 比 (bi3) construction here.

他没有她聪明 ta1 mei2you3 ta1 cong1ming2 – He is not as smart as she.
他不如她聪明 ta1 bu4ru2 ta1 cong1ming2 – He is not as smart as she.

Coming up next I’ll discuss more complicated comparisons!

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