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GRAMMAR INDEX

Comparative Adjectives in Spanish

Comparative adjectives in Spanish are actually a degree of this type of words. The degree indicates how strongly we qualify nouns.

The most basic degree of adjectives is the positive degree. In this way, adjectives qualify a noun without relating it to others.

La casa grande está en esa calle estrecha.

Since our readers already know how to use adjectives in their positive degree, let’s focus on comparative adjectives in Spanish. These relate the characteristics of some nouns to those of others and can be of superiority, inferiority and equality.

 

 

The Comparative Degree of Superiority

Comparative adjectives in Spanish indicate that some nouns have better qualities than others. To form this degree of the adjective we must identify two elements that we are going to compare. The first element is the superior and is usually the subject of the sentence. Next, we will use the verb, followed by the adverb of quantity más, the adjective and the conjunction que. Finally, we will indicate the second element of the comparison, the inferior one.

First element + verb + más + adjective + que + second element

Madrid es más grande que Sevilla.

Comparative Adjectives in Spanish: Inferiority

In the same way as the comparative adjectives in Spanish of superiority, the comparative adjectives of inferiority indicate that some nouns have worse qualities than others. The only thing we have to do to form these phrases is to invert the order we have seen before. In this case, the first element is inferior. Next, we will use the verb, followed by the adverb of quantity menos, the adjective and the conjunction que. Finally, the second element of the comparison is the superior.

First element + verb + menos + adjective + que + second element

Sevilla es menos grande que Madrid.

Irregular comparative adjectives

As we have seen, in Spanish we use an analytical structure. This means that we use the adjective in the same form as the positive degree, but we accompany it with other words that make it a comparative degree (más que, menos que).

However, comparative adjectives in Spanish in a synthetic form also exist and are known as irregular comparatives. In fact, they are forms that have come to us from Latin, where, as in English, endings were added to adjectives to form the comparative degree. When we use them, we must eliminate the adverbs más and menos. However, the list of these adjectives is very small in Spanish. Let’s take a look at it:

Table of irregular comparative adjectives in Spanish

Here we can see some examples with irregular comparative adjectives in Spanish:

El aceite de oliva es mejor que el de girasol.

Mi hermano es menor que yo.

The Comparative Degree of Equality

To finish, let’s analyze the equality comparative adjectives in Spanish. We can not only put one noun above or below another, but also equal them. To do this, we can use different constructions:

First element + verb + tan + adjective + como + second element

El español es tan difícil como el italiano.

Another option is this:

First element + verb + igual de + adjective + que + second element

El examen DELE es igual de fácil que el SIELE.

As we can see, comparative adjectives in Spanish are constructed more simply than in many languages. However, comparative constructions do not only affect adjectives; we can also use nouns or adverbs. If you want to learn more about this type of expressions, don’t hesitate to reserve classes at Spanishviaskype.com.

Infographics about comparative adjectives in Spanish