Comparisons of Inequality in Spanish

In Spanish, inequality is expressed using one of the following three formulas:

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

Consider the following expressions of inequality in Spanish.
They are taller than I.
Son más alto que yo.
(más + adjective + que)
Juan runs faster than Paul.
Juan corre más rapido que Paul.
(más + adverb + que)
She has fewer clothes than her brother.
Ella tiene menos ropa que su hermano.
(menos + noun + que)

If the comparative is followed by a number, use de rather than que for affirmative statements and questions. Review the following examples.

There are more than twenty people in the bus.
Hay más de veinte personas en el autobús.
They have less than ten dollars.
Ellos tienen menos de diez dólares.

If the comparative is followed by a number but is negative, use que to mean only or no more than. Review the following examples.

I have more than twenty dollars.
Tengo más de veinte dólares.
I only have five dollars.
No tengo más que cinco dólares.
There are more than eight people in the car.
Hay más de ocho personas en el coche.
There are only eight people in the car.
No hay más que ocho personas en el coche.

Negating the Equality

Using the following formula, you can negate the comparison of equality to compare the inequality of two nouns in a sentence.

    no + verb + tan + adjective/adverb+ como (not as ... as)

I am not as fat as your brother.
Yo no soy tan gordo como tu hermano.
(no + verb + tan + adjective + como)
Your remote control car is not as fast his.
Tu carro de control remoto no es tan rápido como el suyo.
(no + verb + tan + adverb + como)

Comparison Words

There are several adjectives in the Spanish language that can be used to compare nouns without the use of más or menos. These single "comparison" words are only followed by que (than). These words include the following:


Review the following examples.

He is older than his brother.
Es mayor que su hermano.
The desert is worse than the main course.
El postre es peor que el plato principal.
This sandwich is better than that sandwich.
Este bocadillo es mejor que ese bocadillo.