Jan 23, 2019

French comparatives

First, the words used to compare:

  • plus…que (more…than/___er than) for superior comparisons
  • moins…que (less…than) for inferior comparisons
  • aussi…que (as…as) or autant que (as much/many as) for equal comparisons

1/ With adjectives/adverbs

  • Le chat est plus* petit que le chien. → The cat is smaller than the dog.
  • Le chat est moins petit que le chien. → The cat is less small than the dog.
  • Le chat est aussi petit que le chien. → The cat is as small as the dog. 

*The "s" of "plus is not pronunced before an adjective or adverb.


Liaison is the pronunciation of a latent word-final consonant immediately before a following vowel sound.

  • Paul est plus élégant que Pierre. → Paul is more elegant than Peter.
  • Paul est moins élégant que Pierre. → Paul is less elegant than Peter.

2/ With nouns: "de/d'" are added.

  • Paul a plus* de livres que Pierre. → Paul has more books than Peter. 
  • Paul a moins de montres que Pierre. → Paul has fewer watches than Peter. 
  • Paul a autant de stylos que Pierre. → Paul has as many pens as Peter.

Élision with "de"

  • Paul a plus d'argent que Pierre. → Paul has more money than Peter. 
  • Paul a moins d'argent que Pierre. → Paul has less money than Peter. 
  • Paul a autant d'argent que Pierre. → Paul has as much money as Peter. 
    *The "s" of "plus is pronunced before an adjective or adverb.

    3/ With verbs

    • Paul travaille plus* que Pierre. → Paul works more than Peter. 
    • Paul travaille moins que Pierre. → Paul works less than Peter. 
    • Paul travaille autant que Pierre. → Paul works as much as Peter.

    *The "s" of "plus is pronunced before an adjective or adverb.

    Élision with "que" becoming "qu'"

    • Paul travaille pluqu'elle. → Paul works more* than she does. 
    • Paul travaille moins qu'elle. → Paul works less than she does.
    • Paul travaille autant qu'elle. → Paul works as much as she does.

    When using "plus". No change with "moins" or "aussi".

    Irregular comparative:

    bon(ne) (good→ meilleur(e) (better)

    mauvais(e) (bad) pire/ plus mauvais (worse). 

    • Cette pizza est meilleure que celle-là. → This pizza is better than this one.

    • Cette pizza est moins bonne que celle-là. → This pizza is not as good as this one.

    • Cette pizza est aussi bonne que celle-là. → This pizza is as good as this one.