Thursday, 10 December 2015

Tell Me, Does She Have Less Patience Than You?

Introduction


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




SCENARIO


Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You come to talk about people who don't have a lot of patience. Mentioning the name of a common female friend, the other person says: "tell me, does she have less patience than you?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
Dime, ¿tiene menos paciencia que tú?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
Dígame, ¿tiene menos paciencia que usted?



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 what you want to consider two basic options. i.e.:
  • Your female friend does have less patience than you
  • Your female friend doesn't have less patience than you

Here are a couple of examples which deal with those choices:
  • Sí, tiene menos paciencia que yo* (yes, she does have less patience than me)
  • No, no tiene menos paciencia que yo* (no, she doesn't have less patience than me)

Now you should practice answering the question:
Dime, ¿tiene menos paciencia que tú?

*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 - Inferiority
This post deals comparisons of inferiority in which the subjects of comparison are unspecific quantities or amounts -see item 2 below. Other types of comparisons will be dealt with in separate posts.

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

1.- Inferior Characteristics Comparisons
In this type of comparison the subject of comparison is an adjective or adverb, e.g.:
  • less intelligent than... in Spanish: menos inteligente que...
  • worse than... in Spanish: peor que...

Some examples of this type of comparisons are:
  • Estoy menos feliz que antes (I am less happy than before)
  • Soy menos inteligente que (I am less intelligent than you)
  • Pedro está menos moreno que Antonio (Pedro is less suntanned than Antonio)
  • Hoy andamos menos deprisa que ayer (we are running around less frantically than yesterday)
  • Mis amigos son menos divertidos que los tuyos (my friends are less fun than yours)
  • Este vino es peor que el otro (this wine is worse than the other one)

2.- Less Unspecific Quantities Comparisons
In this type of comparisons the subjects of comparison are unspecific quantities/ numbers of things or people (nouns), e.g.:
  • less money than... in Spanish: menos dinero que...

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


3.- Lower Specific Numbers Comparisons
In this type of comparisons the subjects of comparison are specific quantities or amounts of things (nouns) e.g.:
  • less than ten years... in Spanish: menos de diez años...

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


Notes






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

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