Japanese@Once : Part 3 - Grammar Focus

more than; Comparison

The Japanese adjective does not have any form corresponding to the English comparative degree.
It makes use of some patterns for comparison.


It means "more." Used with the adjective, it can correspond to the English, "(bigg)-er or (small)-er."

motto ookiibigger
motto nagailonger
motto chiisaismaller
motto mijikaishorter

It is used to state which is bigger or smaller under the condition that something has been shown or suggested beforehand.

Katoo:Sono kutsu o misete kudasai.
Ten'in:Hai, doozo.
Katoo:Motto ookii no ga arimasu ka?
Ten'in:Shooshoo o-machi kudasai.
Katoo:Please show me those shoes.
Clerk:Sure, here they are.
Katoo:Do you have bigger ones?
Clerk:Just a moment please.

No in motto ookii no indicates kutsu "shoes" in this case.

... yori ... no hoo ga

This pattern is used to compare two things.

Stating which is bigger, no hoo ga always attaches to the bigger and yori always to the smaller.
The part with yori and the part with no hoo ga is interchangeable.
Please remember no hoo ga always attaches to the part corresponding to "more."

Tokyo no hoo gaOosaka yoriookii desu.
Oosaka yoriTokyo no hoo gaookii desu.
Tokyo is bigger than Osaka.

The part with no hoo ga is often shown as the topic of the sentence.
See Part 3; Chapter 3 for topic maker wa.

Tokyo wa Oosaka yori ookii desu.

Tokyo is bigger than Osaka.

...to ...to dochira ga

This pattern is used in general to ask which is big or small in comparison with two things.
Dochira means "which."

Katoo:Inu to neko to dochira ga suki desu ka?
Satoo:Inu no hoo ga suki desu.
Katoo:Which do you like better, dogs or cats?
Satoo:I like dogs.
Inoue:Do-yoobi to nichi-yoobi to dochira ga hima desu ka?
Kanda:Nichi-yoobi no hoo ga hima desu.
Inoue:On which day are you free, Saturday or Sunday?
Kanda:I'm free on Sunday.

You may need the expressions showing "same" and "either" in such situation.
"Same" is onaji and "either" is dochiramo.

Smith:Tai-ryoori to Indo-ryoori to dochira ga karai desu ka?
Katoo:Onaji gurai da to omoimasu.
Smith:Katoo-san wa dochira ga suki desu ka?
Katoo:Dochiramo suki desu.
Smith:Which is more spicy, Thai food or Indian food?
Katoo:I think they are almost the same.
Smith:Which do you like better?
Katoo:I like either.

dore ga ichiban

This pattern is used to state which is the biggest or the smallest among three or more things. This is an expression for the superlative. Ichiban means "No. 1."

There are two interrogatives corresponding to "which"; dochira and dore.
Dochira is used for two things and dore for three or more things.
Therefore, use dochira to compare two things and dore for the superlative pattern.

Smith:Kuruma no naka de, dore ga ichiban takai desu ka?
Naitoo:Rolls Royce ga ichiban takai desu.
Smith:Which of the cars is the most expensive?
Naitoo:Rolls Royce is the most expensive.

Naka de in kuruma no naka de means "among."

Katoo:Nihon-ryoori no naka de, nani ga ichiban suki desu ka?
Brown:Soo desu ne..., Yakitori ga ichiban suki desu.
Katoo:Which do you like best among Japanese food?
Brown:Well, I like Yakitori best.
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