Monday, 23 January 2012

Tell Me, Is That Film As Good As They Say?

Introduction


This post deals with comparisons in general and more specifically with comparisons in which the subject of comparison is an adjective or adverb.




SCENARIO


Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You come to talk about a particular film. At some point, the other person says: "tell me, is that film as good as they say?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
Dime, ¿es tan buena como dicen esa película ?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
Dígame, ¿es tan buena como dicen esa película?


OUR TIP

You don't need be concerned about the degree of formality in what your relative/ friend/ colleague says to you. Whether the other person uses a more/ less formal register is irrelevant to most choices of reply.

Perhaps what you want to consider two basic options:
  • The film is as good as they say
  • The film is not as good as they say

Here are a couple of examples which deal with those choices:
  • Sí, es tan buena como dicen* (yes, it is as good as they say)
  • No, no es tan buena como dicen* (no, it is not as good as they say)

Now you should practice answering the question:
Dime, ¿es tan buena como dicen esa película?

*Please see grammar topic below, comparisons

Grammar – Comparisons
Basic types of comparison to consider are:
  • Comparisons of superiority, typically: more beautiful than...
  • Comparisons of inferiority, typically: less beautiful than...
  • Comparisons of equality, typically:
    • as beautiful as...
    • as much money as...
    • as many people as...

Comparisons - Equality
This post deals comparisons of equality where the subjects of comparison are adjectives or adverbs -see item 1 below. Other types of comparisons will be dealt with in separate posts.

When making comparisons of equality, there are two situations to consider:

1.- Attributes/ Characteristics Comparisons
In this type of comparison the subject of comparison is an adjective or adverb, e.g.:
  • as intelligent as... In Spanish: tan inteligente como...

Some more examples of this type of comparison are:
  • Estoy tan feliz como siempre (I am as happy as ever)
  • Pedro no es tan guapo como dicen (Pedro is not as good looking as they say)
  • Ana es tan guapa como dicen (Ana is as pretty as they say)
  • No estáis tan mal como nosotros ( you people-plural are not in as bad a way as us)
  • Luís y Ana son tan altos como los demás (Luis and Ana are as tall as the rest/ the others)
  • Andamos tan deprisa como siempre (we are running around as frantically as always)


2.- Quantities/ Amounts Comparisons
In this is a type of comparisons the subjects of comparison are unspecific quantities/ numbers of things or people (nouns), e.g.:
  • as much money as...
  • as many friends as...
  • as little money as...
  • as few friends as...

Forms of this type of comparisons in Spanish are:
  • tanto* dinero como... (as much money as... - masculine noun)
  • tanta* suerte como... (as much luck as... - feminine noun)
  • tantos* amigos como... (as many friends -male as... - masculine noun)
  • tantas* amigas como... (as many friends -female as... - feminine noun)
  • tan poco* dinero como... (as little money as... - masculine noun)
  • tan poca* suerte como... (as little luck as... - feminine noun)
  • tan pocos* amigos como... (as few friends -male as... masculine noun)
  • tan pocas* amigas como... (as few friends -female as... - feminine noun)

Some examples of this type of comparison are:
  • Mi hermano tiene tanto dinero como yo (my brother has as much money as me)
  • Tienes tanta suerte como yo (you are as lucky as me)
  • Antonio tiene tantos amigos como amigas (Antonio has as many male friends as female friends)
  • Pedro tiene tantas amigas como amigos (Pedro has as many female friends as male friends)
  • Mi hermano tiene tan poco dinero como yo (my brother has as little money as me)
  • Tienes tan poca suerte como yo (you have as little luck as me)
  • Antonio tiene tan pocos amigos como amigas (Antonio has as few male friends as female friends)
  • Pedro tiene tan pocas amigas como amigos (Pedro has as few female friends as male friends)


Notes
*Please note that the examples try to show that the choice between “tanto”/ “tanta”/ “tantos”/“tantas”/ “tan poco”/ “tan poca”/ “tan pocos”/ “tan pocas” is given by the gender and the number of the the subject of the comparison, e.g.: “dinero”, “suerte”, etc.

Please do not to use “tampoco” in comparisons of this type as it is not the same as “tan poco”.




Now you should practise the use of comparison of equality with some examples of your own.

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