Grammar

YORI / NO HOU GA / TO ONAJI NI (より / の方が / と同じように)


The particle YORI (より) can be used to make a comparison. It’s translated as “in comparison to,” and is placed directly after the element of comparison.

Comparative of superiority

In case of a comparative of superiority (more than), use the following construction:

A + は + B + より+ information

あの(くるま)(ちち)より(おお)きいです
Ano kuruma wa chichi no yori ookii desu.
That car is bigger than my father’s.

(はは)(わたし)より(はや)()きた
Haha wa watashi yori hayaku okita.
My mother woke up earlier than I (woke up).

祖父(そふ)(ちち)より頑固者(がんこもの)だった
Sofu wa chichi yori gankomono datta yo.
My grandfather was more stubborn than my father.

チーター人間(にんげん)より(はや)(はし)ります
Chiitaa wa ningen yori hayaku hashirimasu.
Cheetahs run faster than humans.

NO HOU (の方) can also be used when making a comparative of superiority.

方 (ほう) means “side,” “direction.” It makes it possible to get two other constructions:

  • A より B の方が + information
  • B の方が A より + information

Literally: “It’s B that is + information + in comparison to A”

So の方 indicates the “direction” to the superior or preferred element, and より the inferior element.

アイスクリームより果物(くだもの)(ほう)()
Aisukuriimu yori kudamono no hou ga suki da yo.
I prefer fruits over ice cream.

果物(くだもの)(ほう)アイスクリームより()
Kudamono no hou ga aisukuriimu yori suki da yo.
I prefer fruits over ice cream.

(おとうと)(ほう)(あに)よりよく()べます
Otouto no hou ga ani yori yoku tabemasu.
My younger brother eats more than my older brother (does).

(あね)(ほう)彼女(かのじょ)より美人(びじん)だった
Ane no hou ga kanojo yori bijin datta.
My older sister was more beautiful than she (is/was).

When の方 is used alone, the term of the comparison is implied, and the concept of comparison is emphasized.

オレンジ(ほう)()
Orenji no hou ga suki.
I prefer the orange (in comparison to another food).

日本語(にほんご)(ほう)面白(おもしろ)です
Nihongo no hou ga omoshiroi desu.
Japanese is more interesting (compared to another language).

Comparative of inferiority

As for the comparative of inferiority (less than), we must use either a negative structure, or an antonym (opposite meaning). There are no specific constructions for the comparative of inferiority in Japanese as it can exist in other languages.

明日(あした)今日(きょう)より(さむ)くないだろう
Ashita wa kyou yori samukunai darou.
Tomorrow will be less cold than today.

ケンさんジムさんよりギター上手(じょうず)ありません
Ken san wa jimu san yori gitaa ga jouzu de wa arimasen.
Ken is not as good at the guitar compared to Jim.

It’s also possible to use ほど, which means “degree” in the following construction:

  • A は B ほど + information in negative form.

Literally: “A is not as + information + as B.”

明日(あした)今日(きょう)ほど(さむ)くないだろう
Ashita wa kyou hodo samukunai darou.
Tomorrow will be less cold than today.

ケンさんジムさんほどギター上手(じょうず)ありません
Ken san wa jimu san hodo gitaa ga jouzu de wa arimasen.
Ken is not as good at the guitar as Jim.

この宿題(しゅくだい)彼女(かのじょ)(かんが)えているほど簡単(かんたん)ありません
Kono shukudai wa kanojo ga kangaete iru hodo kantan de wa arimasen yo.
This exercise is not as simple as she thinks it is.

Comparative of equality

In the case of a comparative of equality (“as much as”), we can choose either と同じように (TO ONAJI YOU NI) or と同じくらい (TO ONAJI KURAI):

  • A は B と同じように + information
  • A は B と同じくらい + information

Literally: “A is as + information + as B.”

ケンさんジムさん(おな)くらい(はや)(はし)
Ken san wa jimu san to onaji kurai hayaku hashiru.
Ken runs as fast as Jim.

When asking a question, we can choose one of the constructions below, which are rather formal and polite:

  • A と B とでは、どちら が + information
  • A と B では、どちら が + information
  • A と B と どちら が + information
  • A と B と で どちら が + information

Literally: “Between A and B, which is + information?”

When speaking, we could have said:

アイスクリーム果物(くだもの)どっち()
Aisukuriimu to kudamono, docchi ga suki?
What do you like the most: ice cream or fruits?


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