Comparatives, /...一样...﹐比起来....

 

Exercises

 

Other terminology: Comparison, preposition ; 比字句.

 

1. How many comparative constructions are there?

 

The following are the most commonly used comparatives.

1.       ......  ...sv. than... Used to compare two objects or two actions, in order to show that one is more or less superior, 他比我高. He is taller than me. 我比你学得好. I study better than you.

2.      ...不比...  ...not sv. than... Negative form of , as in 他不比我高. He isn't taller than me. 他不比我学得好. He doesn’t  study better than I do.

3.      ...as sv. as...Usually used in comparative questions to compare A (an object or action) against B, 你的书有我()多吗? Do you have as many books as I do?

4.      没有... not as sv. as... Negative form of , as in 你的书没有我(). You don't have as many book as I do.

5.      ......一样...  ...as same as...Used to show that two objects or actions are in the same state, as in 中国大学跟英国大学一样好. Chinese universities are as good as English universities.

6.       ......不一样.../ ...不像...那么... not the same as... Negative form of ...一样...,  今天跟昨天不一样热./今天不像昨天那 么热. Today is not hot like yesterday

7.      ......比起来...  Compared with... Used to show one's preference: 英国菜跟法国菜比起来, 我喜欢法国的. I prefer French food to English food.

8.       or even (more/less). Used to express A is even more  .... or  less ... than B is. and can be used with the construction,  他的汉语比中国人的汉语更/还好. His Chinese is even better than Chinese people's. If you use a stative verb in the first clause and place or before the stative verb of the second clause, can be omitted. For instance, 中文比 /还(要)难. Chinese is even more difficult than English. Or 英文难, 中文更/还(要)难. English is difficult, but Chinese is even more difficult.     

9.      most/least. Used to express the highest degree of quality or quantity, 在世界上,中国的人口最多. Chinas population is the largest in the world.

 

2. How can I form a sentence, and what should I be aware of?

 

If you want to compare two objects, the superior noun should be placed before . A stative verb should be placed at the end of the sentence:

A   B stative verb

yīngwén

ENGLISH

bĭ  

BI

zhōngwén  

CHINESE

nán   

DIFFICULT

 

English is more difficult than Chinese.

 

3. Can the words very much”, “extremely” and “really” be used in the construction?

 

,, and 非常 are not used in sentences. Instead 得多 or 多了 can be placed after a stative verb or an adverb in a sentence to indicate very much more or less...],

A B stative verb 得多/多了

yīngwén

ENGLISH

bĭ  

BI

zhōngwén                

CHINESE

nán           deduō

            得多   /    多了

DIFFICULT VERY MUCH MORE

English is much more difficult than Chinese.

4. How do I form a sentence if I want to describe exactly how much more or less “A” is than “B”?

If you want to specify the amount in the comparison, for instance, if you want to say how much more A is than B, then the number word and the measure word should be placed after the stative verb, as in:

A B stative verb number, measure word
zhè bĕn shū

   

THIS BEN BOOK 

BI

nà       bĕnshū

     

THAT BEN BOOK

duō

MORE

sān     yè 

    

THREE PAGES

This books has three pages more than that book.   

 

The following are three patterns when two objects are compared.

 

A

B

Stative verb

Stative verb 得多/多了

Stative verb, number, measure word

 

5. Can I use to compare feelings and capabilities?

 

The sentences can also be used to compare two people's capabilities or intentions. Modal verbs such as , , 喜欢 and or verbs which imply thinking and feeling such as 了解, 注意 and 关心 are used in this construction. The word for [more] is not used in this construction, but [even] can be used. It should be placed before a verb or modal verb:

 

A

   B

mv.        v.       o

HE

bĭ     BI

 nĭ 

YOU    

gèng

MORE

xĭhuān chī  zhōngguó fàn

喜欢          

LIKE     EAT  CHINESE MEAL     

He likes to eat Chinese meals more than you do.  

HE

    BI

 nĭ 

YOU     

gèng

MORE

huì    shēnghuó

      

ABLE  LIVE

He knows how to enjoy life even better than you do.

HE

    BI

 nĭ

YOU    

gèng

MORE

xiăng   jiā

     

MISS    HOME          

I am more homesick than you.      

lăo wáng

     

OLD WANG

bĭ     BI

wŏ 

I

gèng            

MORE

liăojiĕ          zhōngguó

         中国

UNDERSTAND CHINA

Wang knows even more about China than I.

 

6. Can I use the construction to compare two actions?

 

If you want to compare two actions, the complement of degree () can be used. (very much) is not used in this construction, but 得多 or 多了(very much) should be placed after adverbs. There are three possible sentence patterns for this construction:

1.

A    v    o       

 

B            

v        adv. (得多/多了)

tā   chī   fàn

   

HE EAT MEAL

bĭ  

  

BI

wŏ  

 I   

chī de duō   (de duō)

       ( )

EAT DE MORE (VERY MUCH)

He eats (very much) more than I.

2.

A   v.   o.     v. 

B

adv.

tā  chī   fàn   chī  de

      吃 

HE EAT MEAL EAT DE

 

BI

wŏ  

 I   

duō     (de duō)

       ( )

MORE  (VERY MUCH)

He eats (very much) more than I.

3.

B   v.    o.       v.

adv.

tā  

 

HE

bĭ 

  

 BI

wŏ chī   fàn    chī de

             

 I    EAT MEAL  EAT DE

duō   (de duō)

    ( )

MORE (VERY MUCH)

He eats (very much) more than I.

 

7. Can I use the construction to compare the difference in quantity between two actions?

 

If a number word and a measure word are used when you want to compare the difference in quantities between two actions. In this case the adverbs ,,, or should be placed before the main verb and or should be placed after the main verbs:

A B v       nw mw      o.
                           HE

         BI

           

duō                                   MORE 

xué    le      

               LEARN LE

sān nián  zhōngwén   

    

3 YEARS CHINESE

 

He has learnt 3 years more of Chinese than I have.

A B v          nw    mw

 YOU

 

BI

I

păo 

RUN

kuài le 

   

FAST LE

liăng fēnzhōng

   分钟

TWO MINUTES

You ran two minutes faster than I did.

 

8. Apart from can any other word be used in comparisons?

 

is usually used in questions to compare one object or action against another. The negative form of is 没有, which can be used in a statement. Stative verbs and the complement of degree () are used in this construction:

A

neg.  

B

sv      

zhōngwén 

中文

CHINESE

yŏu 

YOU

yīngwén 

英文  

ENGLISH

nán 

    

DIFFICULT

ma  

MA

Is Chinese as difficult as English?

 

A    v.         o.

neg.  

B            

 v.     adv.

tā  xiĕ    hàn         zì        

                  

HE WRITE CHINESE WORDS

méi yŏu     

   

MEIYOU

wŏ  

      

I   

xiĕ     de  hăo  

    

WRITE DE  WELL

He doesn’t write Chinese characters as well as I do.

 

9. How can I form a sentence with ... ... 样?

 

......一样/... ...一样 are used to indicate that two objects or actions are in the same state. A stative verb is not necessarily used:

A

B

一样  

(sv)

tā  shuō   zhōngén shuō  de 

    中文          

HE SPEAKS CHINESE SPEAK DE

gēn     GEN

zhōngguó rén 

中国      

CHINESE PEOPLE

yíyàng  

一样

SAME

(liúlì)

(流利)

(FLUENT)

He speaks Chinese as fluently as Chinese people do.

He speaks Chinese like a Chinese person.

 

The negative forms are ......不一样/不像 ...那么...,

 

A  

 一样

xiăo wăng    

       

XIAO WANG

gēn 

GEN

xiăo dīng    

    

XIAO DING

bù  yíyàng  

  一样

NOT SAME

Xiao Wang is not the same as Xiao Ding.

 

A

   

B

      v/sv

xiăo  wáng   

     

XIAO WANG

bú  xiàng                  NOT LIKE

xiăo  dīng   

   

XIAO DING

nàme ài      xuéxí 

     学习

SO       LOVE  STUDY

Xiao Wang doesn’t compare with Xiao Ding in his love of study.

zhōngwén

     

CHINESE

bú  xiàng                 NOT LIKE

 rìwén       

  

JAPANESE

nàme   nán

 

SO         DIFFICULT

Chinese doesn’t approach Japanese (in degree) of difficulty.

 

10. How can I say that I prefer A to B?

 

. ......比起来 is used to show a preference:

A

B

比较起来

s.  v.            o.

zhōngguó cài   

中国        CHINESE FOOD     

gēn         GEN

rìbĕn      cài    日本         JAPANESE  FOOD

bĭjiào  qĭlái      比较  起来      COMPARE QILAI 

wŏ xĭhuān zhōngguó cài

喜欢         菜

I      LIKE    CHINESE    FOOD

I prefer Chinese food to Japanese food.

 

11. What is the difference between sentences and sentences?

 

1. sentences imply that in comparing A to B the speaker already acknowledges the nature of B. For instance, 英文有中文难吗? Is English as difficult as Chinese? The speaker already thinks Chinese is difficult.  A sentence doesn't have this implication.

 

2. sentences can only be used to compare one object to another or one action to another, but they can't be used to express the specific degree, as sentences can:

xiăolĭ   bĭ  xiăo  dīng dà  liăng  suì

                .

XIAOLI  BI  XIAO DING BIG  TWO YEARS

 Li is two years older than Ding.

 

cannot be used in the above sentence. One cannot say: X小李有小丁大两岁.

 

12. Can I use the negation before ?

 

The negative form for sentences is normally 不比. That is because the stative verbs and sentences, which are used in sentences do not take . However, can be used if the verb of the sentence can take the particle for completed action:

tā   bù  bĭ wŏ máng                  tā   bù    bĭ  wŏ  zhăng  de gāo

  .                                    

HE NOT BI I  BUSY.                              HE NOT   BI    I       GROW  DE TALL

He is not busier than I.           He is not taller than I.

 

Neither busy nor the de construction in the above sentences take the negative aspective , so is used:

xiăowáng     méi   bĭ        xiăo  zhāng   duō    chī  liăng    wăn     fàn

小王                                        .

XIAO WANG NOT BI     XIAO ZHANG MORE EAT TWO   BOWL RICE

Xiao Wang didn't eat two bowls of rice more than Xiao Zhang.

[小王比小张多吃了两碗饭.]

The affirmative form for the above sentence would need the particle for completed action. should be used for its negative form.

 

13. Are the negative forms of (不比) and (没有) the same?

 

Strictly speaking, they are not the same. In colloquial Chinese they may be occasionally interchangeable:

ta   lai       de mei  you    ni  zao

            .

HE COME DE NOT YOU  YOU EARLY

He did not come as early as you did.

tā  bù     bĭ    nĭ     lái        de  zăo

             .

HE NOT BI   YOU COME  DE EARLY

He did not come before you did.

(He might have come at the same time as you did, or later.)

 

14. What is the difference between sentences and ...一样... sentences?

 

1. Stative verbs, or the construction, must be used in sentences, but they are not necessarily used in ......一样... sentences:

zhè  ge   zì           gēn   nà       ge   zì          yíyiàng ma

                        一样   ?

THIS GE WORD  GEN THAT  GE WORD   SAME    MA

Is this character the same as that one?

 

You cannot say: X这个字有那个字吗?

 

2. sentences are normally used in questions and suggestions, but ......一样...sentences do not have this restriction.

 

15. What is the difference between the constructions A B 一样 and A B 一样?

 

means to be like, and ...一样... means the same as.... The word order for both constructions is very similar in the affirmative forms, e.g., 

哥哥跟弟弟一样聪明. / 哥哥像弟弟一样聪明. There is however a difference in the negative forms. The negative should be placed before 一样 in the construction, but should be placed before in the construction. 那么 or 这么 (so...) should replace 一样 in the 不像construction, but 这么 and 那么 are not used in the 不跟 construction:

gēge                       bú  xiàng    dìdi                                nàme cōngming

哥哥                      弟弟                     那么 聪明  

OLDER BROTHER  NOT LIKE YOUNGER BROTHER   SO      CLEVER

The older brother is not as clever as his younger brother.

gēge                        gēn dìdi                             bù  yíyàng  cōngming

哥哥                  弟弟                       一样   聪明

OLDER BROTHER  AS YOUNGER BROTHER  NOT SAME  CLEVER

The older brother and the younger brother are not of the same intelligence.

 

16. Can you demonstrate the different degrees of comparison?

 

The following sentence patterns show how different degrees of 聪明 and the construction of complement of degree.

gēge  gēn  dìdi yí yàng cōngming

哥哥 弟弟一样  聪明 

The older brother is same clever as his younger brother

gēge  zuòfàn gēn dìdi   zuòde yíyàng  hăo

哥哥作饭  弟弟作得 一样 

The older brother cooks food as well as the younger brother

dìdi     bĭ gēge  gèng cōngming   

弟弟哥哥  聪明

The younger brother is even cleverer

dìdi    zuòfàn bĭ gēge  zuòde gènghăo

弟弟作饭 哥哥作得

The younger brother cooks even better food than his older brother

gēge búxiàng dìdi nàme   cōngming 

哥哥不像  弟弟那么聪明

The older brother is not that clever like his brother younger

gēge zuòfàn búxiàng dìdi   zuòde nàme hăo

哥哥作 不像  弟弟作得 那么

The older brother doesn’t cook the food well like  the younger brother does     

gēge méiyŏu dìdi    cōngming

哥哥 没有弟弟 聪明

The older brother is not as clever as his  younger brother

gēge  zuòfàn méiyŏu dìdi  zuòde hăo

哥哥 作饭 没有 弟弟作得

The older brother doesnt cook as well as the younger brother does

dìdi  bĭ gēge cōngming       

弟弟哥哥 聪明

The younger brother is cleverer than his older brother

dìdi zuò fàn bĭ gēge   zuòde hăo

弟弟作饭哥哥作得

The younger brother cooks better food than the older brother

dìdi     bĭ    gēge cōngming de duō

弟弟 哥哥 聪明     

The younger brother is much cleverer than his older brother

dìdi    zuòfàn bĭ gēge  zuòde hăodeduo

弟弟作饭 哥哥作得  得多

The younger brother cooks much better than his older brother

dìdi    zuì  cōngming

弟弟  

The younger brother is cleverest

dìdi      zuòfàn zuòde zuìhăo

弟弟作饭 作得

The younger brother cooks the food best

 

Exercises 

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 Translate the following sentences into Chinese.

 

1.         Xiao Ding is older than Xiao Wang, but Xiao Ding is smaller than Xiao Wang.

2.         Mr. Zhang doesn't run as fast as I do, but he walks as fast as I do.

3.         This year's students study much better than last year's did, and they also know more than last year's did.

4.         Jingshan Hill in Beijing is very high, but the hills in my hometown are even higher.

5.         From here to the Iron and Steel Engineering Institute is 8 miles further than from here to the railway station.

6.         Lesson 44 has 15 more new characters than Lesson 45 has, but Lesson 45's grammar is a little bit more difficult than Lesson 44's.

7.         Yesterday he came 8 minutes earlier than I did, but today he came 5 minutes later than I did.

8.         If he can't answer that question well, we can only do it worse!

9.         Your watch is about 5 minutes slower than mine. No wonder (难怪 nán gài lit. difficult to blame.) you came 5 minutes later than I did.

10.     He pays even more attention to his health than his girlfriend does to hers.

11.     Mr. Ma knows much more about Chinese landscape painting than my teacher does.

12.     On Sundays I prefer sleeping in at home to getting up early and going to the park.