8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
ANTE TODO
 Spanish and English use comparisons to indicate which of
two people or things has a lesser, equal, or greater degree
of a quality.
 Both languages also use superlatives to express the
highest or lowest degree of a quality.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
COMPARISONS
Inequality
menos interesante
Inequality
más grande
Equality
tan sabroso como
less interesting
bigger
as delicious as
SUPERLATIVES
Irregular
la / el mejor
Irregular
la / el peor
Regular
la más alta
the best
the worst
the tallest
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Comparisons of inequality
 Comparisons of inequality are formed by placing
más (more) or menos (less) before adjectives,
adverbs, and nouns and que (than) after them.
adjective
más/menos
+
adverb
noun
+ que
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Comparisons of inequality
ADJECTIVES
Los bistecs son más caros que el pollo.
Steaks are more expensive than chicken.
Estas uvas son menos sabrosas que esa pera.
These grapes are less tasty than that pear.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Comparisons of inequality
ADVERBS
Me acuesto más tarde que tú.
I go to bed later than you (do).
Mi hermano se despierta menos temprano que yo.
My brother wakes up less early than I (do).
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Comparisons of inequality
NOUNS
Juan prepara más platos que José.
Juan prepares more dishes than José (does).
Susana come menos carne que Enrique.
Susan eats less meat than Enrique (does).
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
¡ATENCIÓN!
 Note that while English has a comparative form for short
adjectives (taller), such forms do not exist in Spanish
(más alto).
English: tall
taller
intelligent
more intelligent
 When the comparison involves a numerical expression,
de is used before the number instead of que.
Hay más de cincuenta naranjas.
Llego en menos de diez minutos.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
 With verbs, the following construction is used to make
comparisons of inequality:
[ verb ] + más/menos que
Mis hermanos comen más que yo.
My brothers eat more than I (do).
Arturo duerme menos que su padre.
Arturo sleeps less than his father (does).
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Comparisons of equality
 The following construction is used to make comparisons
of equality.
tan +
tanto/a (s) +
adjective
adverb
+ como
singular noun
plural noun
+ como
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Comparisons of equality
Este plato es tan delicioso como aquél.
This dish is as delicious as that one (is).
Ustedes probaron tantos platos como ellos.
You tried as many dishes as they did.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
¡ATENCIÓN!
 Note that tanto acts as an adjective and therefore agrees in number
and gender with the noun it modifies: tantas cosas.
 Tan and tanto can also be used for emphasis, rather than to
compare, with these meanings: tan so, tanto so much, tantos/as
so many. When used as such, the word “como” is omitted.
¡Tu almuerzo es tan grande!
Your lunch is so big!
¡Comes tanto!
You eat so much!
¡Comes tantas manzanas!
You eat so many apples!
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
 Comparisons of equality with verbs are formed by
placing tanto como after the verb.
 Note that in this construction tanto does not change in
number or gender.
[ verb ] + tanto como
No duermo tanto como mi tía.
I don’t sleep as much as my aunt (does).
Estudiamos tanto como ustedes.
We study as much as you (do).
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Superlatives
 The following construction is used to form superlatives. Note
that the noun is always preceded by a definite article and
that de is equivalent to the English in or of.
el / la / los / las + [ noun ] + más / menos + [ adjective ] + de
Es el café más rico del país.
It’s the most delicious coffee in the country.
Es el menú menos caro de todos éstos.
It is the least expensive menu of all of these.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Superlatives
¡ATENCIÓN!
 While más alone means more, after el or la (or los or las),
it means most.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Superlatives
 The noun in a superlative construction can be omitted if
the person, place, or thing referred to is clear.
¿El restaurante El Cráter?
The El Cráter restaurant?
Es el más elegante de la ciudad.
It’s the most elegant (one) in the city.
Recomiendo el pollo asado.
I recommend the roast chicken.
Es el más sabroso del menú.
It’s the most delicious on the menu.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Irregular comparatives and superlatives
Adjective
bueno/a good
Comparative Form
mejor better
Superlative Form
el/la mejor (the) best
malo/a bad
peor worse
grande/a big
mayor bigger
el/la mayor (the) biggest
pequeño/a small
menor smaller
el/la menor (the) smallest
menor younger
el/la menor (the) youngest
mayor older
el/la mayor (the) oldest
joven young
viejo/a old
el/la peor (the) worst
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Irregular comparatives and superlatives
 When grande and pequeño/a refer to age, the irregular
comparative and superlative forms, mayor and menor,
are used.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Irregular comparatives and superlatives
 However, when these adjectives refer to size, the regular forms,
más grande and más pequeño/a, are used.
Isabel es la mayor de su familia.
Isabel is the eldest in her family.
Tu ensalada es más grande que ésa.
Your salad is bigger than that one.
Yo soy menor que tú.
I’m younger than you.
Pedí el plato más pequeño del menú.
I ordered the smallest dish on the menu.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Irregular comparatives and superlatives
 The adverbs bien and mal have the same irregular
comparative forms as the adjectives bueno/a and malo/a.
Julio nada mejor que los otros chicos.
Julio swims better than the other boys.
Ellas cantan peor que las otras chicas.
They sing worse than the other girls.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Absolute superlatives
 In Spanish the absolute superlative is equivalent to
extremely, exceptionally, super, or very before an
adjective or adverb.
 An absolute superlative:
Me gusta(n) muchísimo…
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Absolute superlatives
 To form the absolute superlative of most adjectives and adverbs,
drop the final vowel, if there is one, and add -ísimo/a(s).
malo  mal-  malísimo
mucho  much-  muchísimo
¡El bistec está malísimo!
Comes muchísimo.
The steak is very bad!
You eat a lot (very, very much).
difícil + -ísimo  dificilísimo
fácil + ísimo  facilísimo
Esta prueba es dificilísima.
Los exámenes son facilísimos.
This quiz is exceptionally difficult.
The tests are extremely easy.
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Absolute superlatives
 Adjectives and adverbs whose stem ends in c, g, or z
change spelling to qu, gu, and c in the absolute superlative.
rico
largo
feliz



riquísimo
larguísimo
felicísimo
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
Absolute superlatives
 Adjectives that end in –n or –r normally form the absolute
superlative by adding -císimo.
joven + -císimo  jovencísimo
trabajador + -císimo  trabajadorcísimo
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
¡INTÉNTALO! Escribe el equivalente de las palabras en inglés.
Comparativos
1. (than) Ernesto mira más televisión ____ Alberto.
que
2. (less) Tú eres ____ simpático que Federico.
menos
3. (as much) La camarera sirve ____ carne como pescado.
tanta
4. (more) Conozco ____ restaurantes que tú.
más
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
5. (as much as) No estudio ____ tú.
tanto como
6. (as) ¿Sabes jugar al tenis tan bien ____ tu
hermana?
como
7. (as many) ¿Puedes beber ____ refrescos como
yo?
tantos
8. (as) Mis amigos parecen ____ simpáticos como
ustedes.
tan
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
¡INTÉNTALO! Escribe el equivalente de las palabras en inglés.
Superlativos
1. (the most intelligent) Marisa es _____ de todas.
la más inteligente
2. (the least boring) Ricardo y Tomás son _____ de la fiesta.
los menos aburridos
3. (the worst) Miguel y Antonio son _____ estudiantes de la clase.
los peores
4. (the oldest) Mi profesor de biología es _____ de la universidad.
el mayor
8.4 Comparisons and superlatives
5. (extremely delicious:rico ) El pollo de este supermercado
es _____ .
riquísimo
6. (the youngest) Carlos es _____ de mis hermanos.
el menor
7. (the best) Este plato es _____ del restaurante.
el mejor
8. (extremely tall) Sara es _____ .
altísima
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8.4 Comparisons and superlatives