Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Tell Me, Is She More Than Thirty years Old?

Introduction


This post deals with comparisons in general and more specifically with comparisons of superiority in which the subjects of comparison are specific quantities or amounts of things.




SCENARIO


Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You come to talk about the ages of some of your common friends/ colleagues. Mentioning the name of a common female friend, the other person says:: "tell me, is she more than thirty years old?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
Dime, ¿tiene más de treinta años?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
Dígame, ¿tiene más de treinta años?



OUR TIP

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

Perhaps you want to consider two basic options. i.e.:
  • Your female friend is more than thirty years old
  • Your female friend is not more than thirty years old

Here are a couple of examples which deal with those choices:
  • Sí, tiene más de treinta años* (yes, she is more than/ over thirty years old)
  • No, no tiene más de treinta años* (no, she is not more than/ over thirty years old)

Now you should practice answering the question:
Dime, ¿tiene más de treinta años?

*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 - Superiority
This post deals comparisons of superiority in which the subjects of comparison are specific quantities or amounts -see item 3 below. Other types of comparisons will be dealt with in separate posts.

When making comparisons of superiority, there are three situations to consider:

1.- Superior Characteristics Comparisons
In this is a type of comparison the subject of comparison is an adjective or adverb, e.g.:
  • more intelligent than... In Spanish: más inteligente que...
  • happier than... In Spanish: más feliz que...
  • better than... In Spanish: mejor que...

Some examples of this type of comparisons are:
  • Estoy más feliz que nunca (I am happier than ever)
  • Eres más inteligente que yo (you more intelligent than me)
  • Pedro está más moreno que Antonio (Pedro is more suntanned than Antonio)
  • Hoy andamos más deprisa que ayer (we are running around more frantically than yesterday)
  • Mis amigos son más divertidos que los tuyos (my friends are more fun than yours)
  • Este vino es mejor que el otro (this wine is better than the other one)


2.- Higher Unspecific Quantities Comparisons
In this is a type of comparisons the subjects of comparison are unspecific quantities/ numbers of things or people (nouns), e.g.:
  • more money than... In Spanish: más dinero que...

Some examples of this type of comparisons are:
  • Tú hermano tiene más dinero que (your brother has more money than you)
  • Hoy hemos comprado más comida que ayer (today we have bought more food than yesterday)
  • Tienes más amigos que Antonio (you have more male friends than Antonio)
  • Antonio tiene más amigas que (Antonio has more female friends than you)


3.- Higher Specific Numbers Comparisons
In this is a type of comparisons the subjects of comparison are specific quantities or amounts of things (nouns) e.g.:
  • more than ten years... In Spanish: más de diez años...

Some examples of this type of comparisons are:
  • Yo llevaba más de £30 en el bolsillo (I had/ was carrying more than £30 in my pocket)
  • Antonio tiene más de treinta años (Antonio is more than thirty years old)
  • Os quedan más de dos días de vacaciones (you people-plural have more than two days left on your holidays)
  • A Luis y Ana les queda más de media hora de viaje (Luis and Ana have more than half an hour's travel)

Notes






Now you should practise the use of comparisons of superiority with some examples of your own.

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