Lesson 30 – Comparison of Adjectives, Adverbs, Nouns, & Verbs

Leçon 30

An object or a person may be seen as having more, less, or the same amount of a characteristic as another object or person. To express this, French and English use comparative constructions.

To make comparisons of superiority, French uses the construction plus + adjective + que.

  • Le boulevard est plus large que notre rue.
  • The boulevard is wider than our street.

To make comparisons of inferiority, French uses the construction moins + adjective + que.

  • Mais le boulevard est moins large que l’autoroute.
  • But the boulevard is less wide than the highway.

To make comparisons of equality, French uses the construction aussi + adjective + que.

  • Le boulevard est aussi large que l’avenue de la République.
  • The boulevard is as wide as the Avenue of the Republic.

The adjectives bon and mauvais have irregular comparative forms:

bon(ne)(s) → meilleur(e)(s) mauvais(e)(s) → pire(s)
  • Ce restaurant est meilleur que l’autre.
  • This restaurant is better than the other one.
  • Le bruit est pire ici que dans mon quartier.
  • The noise is worse here than in my neighbourhood.

Adverbs are compared in the same way as adjectives.

  • Elle répond plus poliment que lui.
  • She answers more politely than he does.
  • Elle répond moins poliment que lui.
  • She answers less politely than he does.
  • Elle répond aussi poliment que lui.
  • She answers as politely than he does.

The adverbs bien and mal have irregular comparative forms: mieux (better) and pire (worse). Pire may be replaced by plus mal. The comparative of beaucoup is plus, and the comparative of peu is moins.

  • On dit que Mme Gautier enseigne mieux que M. Richard.
  • They say that Mrs. Gautier teaches better than Mr. Richard.
  • J’en doute. Ses étudiants écrivent pire (plus mal) que les étudiants de M. Richard.
  • I doubt it. Her students write worse than Mr. Richard’s students do.

When verbs are compared, autant replaces aussi in comparisons of equality.

  • Je travaille plus/moins que toi.
  • I work more/less than you.
  • Je travaille autant que toi.
  • I work as much as you.

The comparison of nouns resembles the comparison of verbs. De is used before the noun.

  • Il a plus/moins de soucis que nous.
  • He has more/fewer worries as we do.
  • Il a autant de soucis que nous.
  • He has as many worries as we do.

In comparisons, que may be followed by a noun, a stressed pronoun, a demonstrative or possessive pronoun, a prepositional phrase, or an adjective. For adjectives, the adjective functions as a noun.

  • La robe rouge est plus chic que le vert.
  • The red dress is more stylish than the green one.
  • Les petits enfants étudient autant que les grands.
  • The little kids study as much as the big kids.
  • Ce roman est moins intéressant que ceux de l’autre auteur.
  • This novel is not as interesting as the ones by the other author.

I hope you guys found this post to be helpful. Any and all feedback is welcome.

Have a great week!

Merci à vous !



6 thoughts on “Lesson 30 – Comparison of Adjectives, Adverbs, Nouns, & Verbs

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever learnt the “aussi que” construction before–thanks! Every time you write one of your posts, I find out more stuff that I don’t know–even more humbling than my life USUALLY is! 🙂

  2. OK, did I get this right? From an email that I wrote this morning:

    J’aime les questions, posées aussi que répondues !

    (“I love questions, asked as much as answered!” …was what I was trying to say.

  3. So, after reading your post, I finally understood the words to this song that I’ve heard, like, a thousand times:

    J’ai des racines en France
    Aussi longues que la terre
    J’ai une langue qui danse
    Aussi bien que ma mère

    Thanks! 🙂

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