Lesson 15: Using 比 (bǐ) for Comparison in Chinese

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Using 比 (bǐ) for Comparison in ChineseThere are several ways to express comparison in Chinese. Among them, 比 (bǐ) is one of the most frequently used to compare two things or two persons.

Structure: Noun 1 + 比 + Noun 2 + Adjective / Adjective Phrase

Meaning: Noun 1 is more [adjective] than Noun 2

Examples:


玛丽比珍妮漂亮。

Mǎlì bǐ zhēnnī piàoliang.

Mary is more beautiful than Jenny.

 


我弟弟比我妹妹小三岁。

Wǒ dìdì bǐ wǒ mèimei xiǎosān suì.

My brother is three years younger than my sister.

 

When using 比 (bǐ) for comparison, leave out the degree adverbs, like 很 (hěn), 真 (zhēn), 非常 (fēi cháng), etc. Read: How to Use Adjectives in Basic Grammar Chinese Sentence.

 

比 + 多了 / 很多 (bǐ + hěn duō)


When you want to describe that one thing is much more [adjective] than the other one, add 多了 (duō le) or 很多 (hěn duō) behind the adjective.

Structure: Noun 1 + 比 + Noun 2 + Adjective + 多了 / 很多

Meaning: Noun 1 is much more [adjective] than Noun 2


Example:


冬天比秋天冷很多。

Dōngtiān bǐ qiūtiān lěng hěnduō.

Winter is much colder than autumn.

 

比 + 一点 (bǐ + yī diǎn)


Oppositely, if you want to express that one thing is a little more [adjective] than the other one, add 一点 (yī diǎn) behind the adjective.

Structure: Noun 1 + 比 + Noun 2 + Adjective + 一点

Meaning: Noun 1 is a little more [adjective] than Noun 2

Example:


你家比我家大一点。

Nǐ jiā bǐ wǒjiā dà yīdiǎn.

Your house is a little bigger than my house.

 

比 + 更 (bǐ + gèng)


更 (gèng), which literally translated as more, is used to express that noun 1 is even more [adjective] than noun 2, even though the noun 2 is already [adjective].

Structure: Noun 1 + 比 + Noun 2 + 更 + Adjective

Meaning: Noun 2 is already [adjective]. However, Noun 1 is even more [adjective] than Noun 2

Example:


这棵树比那棵树更高。

Zhè kē shù bǐ nà kē shù gèng gāo.

This tree is taller than the tree.

 

不 + 比 (bù + bǐ)


For expressing negation in comparison, we add 不 (bù) before 比 (bǐ), not before the adjectives. Read: Understanding No or Not in Chinese.

Structure: Noun 1 + 不 + 比 + Noun 2 + Adjective / Adjective Phrase

Meaning: Noun 1 is not more [adjective] than Noun 2

 

Example:


这道菜不比之前的好吃。

Zhè dào cài bùbǐ zhīqián de hào chī.

This dish is not tastier than the previous one.