Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Tell Me, Is He Busier Than Before?

Introduction


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




SCENARIO


Imagine you are talking to a relative, a friend or a colleague. You come to talk about how busy some of your common friends/ acquaintances are. Mentioning the name of a common male friend, the other person says:: "tell me, is he busier than before?"

In Spanish, the other person could choose to be less formal and say:
Dime, ¿está más ocupado que antes?

On the other hand, he/ she could choose to be more formal and say:
Dígame, ¿está más ocupado que antes?



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 male friend is busier than before
  • Your male friend is not busier than before

Here are a couple of examples which deal with those choices:
  • Sí, está más ocupado que antes* (yes, he is busier than before)
  • No, no está más ocupado que antes* (no, he is not busier than before)

Now you should practice answering the question:
Dime, ¿está más ocupado que antes?

*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 subject of comparison is and adjective or adverb -see item 1 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 antes (I am happier than before)
  • 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 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:
  • Mi hermano tiene más dinero que (my brother has more money than you)
  • Hoy hemos comprado más comida que ayer (today we have bought more food than yesterday)
  • Antonio tiene más amigos que (Antonio has more male friends than you)
  • Tú tienes más amigas que Antonio (you have more female friends than Antonio)


3.- Higher Specific Numbers Comparisons
In this 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 remaining)

Notes








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

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