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Table of contents Chapter 13 13.9 Comparative clauses

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Chapter 13: Adverbs and Comparative

   13.9 Comparative clauses
            I
            Ia

            Ib
            Ic
          II
          IIa

          IIb
        III
        IIIa
        IIIb
          IV

The Spanish comparative
Equality = ... tan (tanto) + adjective (noun) + como ....
Superiority = ... más (más) + adjective (noun) + que ...
Subordination = ... menos (menos) + adjective (noun) + que ....
Superlative
Relative superlative with superiority = ... el / la + más + adjective +de
Relative superlative with subordination = ... el / la + más + adjective +de
Elative
Formation of the elative with an adverb (muy, sumamente etc.)
Formation of the elative with ísimo

Specialties

  13.9 Comparative clauses - an introduction

Comparative clauses are used to - how the name already says - compare things. They tell us how one thing is in quality or quantity related to another thing. They can be superior, they subordinated or equal. A comparison can be done with nouns, adjectives and adverbs.

  Noun
He has more money than you do.
He has less money than you do.
He has as much money as you do.

  Adjective
He is richer than you are.
He is poorer than you are.
He is as rich as you are.

  Adverbs
He runs faster than you do.
He runs more slowly than you do.
He runs as fast as you do.

  Superlative

The superlative goes one step further. It compares one fact not to only one other fact but to ALL other fact.


He is the richest man (of all men).
He is the richest of all.
He runs the fastest.

  I. The Spanish comparative

  Ia Equality = ... tan (tanto) + adjective (+noun) / adverb + como ....
Él es tan grande como ella. <=>He is as tall as she is.
Ellos son tan ricos como Ustedes. <=>They are as rich as you are.
Vosotros sois tan testarudos como ellos. <=>You are as stubborn as they are.
Él es tan rico como ella. = He is as rich as she is.
Él corre tan rápido como ella. = He runs as fast as she does.

Nosotros tenemos tanto dinero como vosotros. = We have as much money as you have.
En España hay tantos coches como en Inglaterra. = In Spain there are as many cars as in England.

  Ib Superiority = ... más (más) + adjective (+noun) / adverb + que ....
Él es más grande que ella. <=> He is taller than she is.
Ellos son más ricos que Ustedes. <=> They are richer than you are.
Vosotros sois más testarudos que ellos. <=>You are more stubborn that they are.
Él es más rico que ella. = He is richer than she is.
Él corre más rápido que ella. = He runs faster than she does.

Nosotros tenemos más dinero que Ustedes. = We have more money than you have.
En Alemania hay más coches que en Inglaterra. = In Spain there are more cars than in England.

  Ic Subordination = ... menos (menos) + adjective (+noun) / adverb + que ....
Él es menos grande que ella. <=>
He is less tall than she is (he is not as tall as she is, he is smaller than she)
Ellos son menos ricos que Ustedes. <=>
They are less rich than you (they are not as rich as you are, they are poorer than you are)
Vosotros sois menos testarudos que ellos.<=>
You are less stubborn than they are
(you are not as stubborn as they are, you are more understanding than they are)
Él es menos rico que ella.
= He is less rich than she is (he is not as rich as she is, he is poorer than she is)

Él corre menos rápido que ella. = He runs less fast than she does
(he doesn't run as fast as she does, he runs more slowly than she does)

Nosotros tenemos menos dinero que Ustedes. = We have less money than you have.
En Alemania hay menos coches que en Inglaterra.
= In Deutschland are less cars than in England.

As it is easily to be seen the comparative is the same no matter whether it is a noun, an adjective or an adverb.

  II Superlative

The superlative indicates the quantitative or qualitative superiority of one object in comparison to a reference group.

  The reference group is to be mentioned!
He is the greatest (of all).
He runs the fastest among his group.
He is the richest man in town.


  IIa Relative superlative in superiority = ... el / la + más + adjective (+noun) / adverb +de
Es el hombre más rico de todos. = He is the richest of all.
Es el coche más rapido de la ciudad. = This is the fastest car in town.
Es la mujer más guapa que he visto jamás. = She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.

  IIb Relative superlative with subordination = ... el / la + menos + adjective (+noun) /         adverb +de
De todos estos chicos él es el menos arrogante.
= Of all the boys he is the least arrogant.

  III. Elative

Is the superlative used without mentioning a reference group it is called elative. Just another name for something that looks quite the same. Point here is that it is used to emphasise something rather than compare.

  Elative
His brother is the coolest!
His brother is very cool.
Mom is the greatest!
Mom is really great.

In Spanish the superlative is only used to compare. Therefore the emphasis is put in other ways.

  IIIa Formation of the elative with an adverb (muy, sumamente etc.)
Ella es muy guapa. = She is very beautiful.
Vosotros sois muy gordos.= You are very big

  IIIb Formation of the elative with ísimo

The elative can be formed with ísimo by taking the adjective ending -o/-a away and appending the ísimo. If the adjective ends on a consonant the ísimo is appended without changing the adjective. Again please remember that adjectives - no matter which ending - are changed according to the gender and number of the noun referred to. The ending puts an extra emphasis on the adjective - it can be translated with really very (or something similar).


Este coche es carísimo. = This care is really very expensive.
Estos coches son carísimos.= These cars are really very expensive.
Esta casa es carísima. = This house is really expensive.
Estas casas son carísimas.= These houses are really expensive.
Este ejercicio es dificilísimo.= This exercise is really difficult.
Estos ejercicios son dificilísimos.= These exercises are really difficult.

  IV. Specialties
rico = riquísimo =
largo = larguísimo = very long
feliz = felicísimo = very happy
fuerte= fortísimo = very strong
noble = nobilísimo = very honourable
amable = amabilísimo = very nice
fiel = fidelísimo = very faithful
antiguo = antiquísimo = very old

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