How to use より ( = yori) : Comparative form

yori-newnew

「誰よりも友達が大切だよ。」

= Dare yori mo tomodachi ga taisetu dayo.

= I care about my friends more than anybody.

「同感!」 

= Doukan!

=I agree!


Hi, everyone!  Today’s guest teachers are Frisky Sensei and Chuzzle Sensei. They are from Singapore.

They will teach you how to use より ( = yori), a comparative form.

******

みなさん、こんにちは!= Minasan, konnichiwa= Hello everyone! 

FriskyとChuzzleです。

=Frisky to Chuzzle desu.

= We are Frisky and Chuzzle.

どちらがかわいいと思う?

= Dochira ga kawaii to omou?

= Who do you think is cuter?

Today we will teach you one of the comparative form with より ( = yori).

!star! The basic pattern

:ii: Aの方がBより + adjective

= A no hou ga B yori ~ + adjective

= A is more + adjective + than B.

You can switch the word order,

:kkk: BよりAの方が+ adjective

= B yori A no hou ga +  adjective

Ex. 映画より(も) 原作の方が面白いです。

= Eiga yori (mo) gensaku no hou ga omoshiroi desu.

= The original story is more interesting than the movie.

or switch the word order

 :rrrr: 原作の方が映画より(も) 面白いです。

= Gensaku no hou ga eiga yori (mo) omoshiroi desu.

 :i: Note: When you want to emphasize something, add ( = mo) after より ( = yori )

:rrrr:より ( = yori mo)

Ex. 天ぷらよりもお寿司の方が好きです。

= Tenpura yori mo osushi no hou ga suki desu.

I prefer sushi to tempura.

Ex.  昨日より今日の方が寒い。

= Kinou yori kyou no hou ga samui.

= It is colder today than yesterday.

Ex.  マギーより猫の方が強かった。

= Maggie yori neko no hou ga tsuyokatta.

= A cat was stronger than Maggie.

Ex.  京都の方が大阪よりも名古屋から近いです。

= Kyouto no hou ga Osaka yori mo Nagoya kara chikai desu.

= Kyoto is closer than Osaka from Nagoya.

 :jjj: Question pattern:

When you want to ask,

Q: Which is more ~, A or B? / Which do you ~  more,  A or B?

you say,

:rrrr: ABではどちらが/どちらの方が~ですか?

= A to B dewa dochira ga/dochira no hou ga ~ desu ka?

or
:rrrr: ABのどちらが~ですか?

= A to B no dochiraga ~ desu ka?

Ex.  Q: ライオンと虎ではどちらの方が強いですか?

= Raion to tora dewa dochira no hou ga tsuyoi desuka?

= Which is stronger, a lion or a tiger?

A: (虎より) ライオンの方が強いです。

= (Tora yori) raion no hou ga tsuyoi desu.

= A lion is stronger (than a tiger).

Note: When you answer, you can omit what the subject is being compared with.

If your answer is that both A and B are the same, you can say:

*同じぐらい~です。

= Onaji gurai ~ desu.

or

*どちらも (同じぐらい) ~です。

= Dochira mo (onaji gurai)  ~ desu.

= Both of them are ~. / They are both equally ~.

A: どちらも強いです。

= Dochira mo tsuyoi desu.

= They are both strong.

A: 同じぐらい強いです。

= Onaji gurai tsuyoi desu.

= They are equally strong.

Ex.  肉と魚ではどちらが好きですか?

= Niku to sakana dewa dochira ga suki desuka?

= Which do you prefer, meat or fish?

A:より魚の方が好きです。

= Niku yori sakana no hou ga suki desu.

= I like fish more than meat.

Note: If you like both of them or neither one, you can say:

A: どちらも好きです。

= Dochira mo suki desu.

= I love them both.

A:   どちらも好きではありません。

= Dochira mo suki dewa arimasen.

= I don’t like either one.

Ex. 「元カレと今カレとどっちが優しい?」

= Motokare to imakare to docchi ga yasashii?

= Who is sweeter? Your ex-boyfriend or your present boyfriend?

 A: 「(元カレより) 今カレの方がずっと優しいよ。」

= (Motokare yori) Imakare no hou ga zutto yasashii yo.

= My present boyfriend is much sweeter (than my ex-boyfriend).

(Note: 元カレ ( = moto kare) / 今カレ ( = ima kare) are slang words.)

Ex. 「一人で旅するのと友達と旅するのではどちらがいいですか?」

= Hitori de tabisuru no to tomodachi to tabi suru no de wa dochira ga ii desuka?

= Which do you prefer? Traveling alone or traveling with your friends?

「(友達と旅行するより) 一人旅行の方がずっと気が楽です。」

= (Tomodachi to ryokou suru yori) Hitori ryokou no hou ga zutto ki ga raku desu.

= I feel much more at ease when I travel alone ( than traveling with my friends).

 :purple: AはBより + adjective

= A wa B yori ~ + adjective

= A is more + adjective+ than B.

or switch the word order:

:mm: BよりA+ adjective

= B yori A wa +  adjective

= A is more + adjective+ than B.

Ex.  マギーは花より美しい。

= Maggie wa hana yori utsukushii .

= Maggie is more beautiful than flowers.

Ex.  隣の家はうちより大きい。

= Tonari no ie wa uchi yori ookii.

= The house next door is bigger than our house.

Ex.  ガラケーよりスマホは高い。

= Garakei yori sumaho wa takai.

= Smartphones are more expensive than old fashioned cellphones.

(Note: ガラケー(=garakei) / スマホ(=smaho) are slang words.)

Ex.  私の部屋は兄の部屋よりも狭い。

= Watashi no heya wa ani no heya yori mo semai.

= My room is smaller than my brother’s room.

Ex.  北欧は日本より物価が高い。

= Hokuou wa nihon yori bukka ga takai.

= Things are more expensive in Northern Europe than in Japan.

Ex.  佐藤さんは田中さんよりもケチだ。

= Satou-san wa Tanaka-san yori mo kechi da.

= Mr (Ms.) Sato is cheaper than Mr. (Ms.) Tanaka.

Ex.  私が相撲取りより太ってるってどういうこと?

= Watashi ga sumoutori yori futotteru tte douiu koto?

= What do you mean I am fatter than a Sumo wrestler!

Note:

 :i: The difference between:

1) ABより & 2) A方がBより + adjective

= A wa B yori   & A no hou ga B yori  + adjective

When you are talking about (the quality or characteristics of) A you use 

:rrrr: 1)  AはBより ( = A wa B yori).

You use B as a basis of comparison in order to talk about A.

When you comparing two things/people, you use

:rrrr: 2) A方がBより ( = A no hou ga B yori)

Ex. 1) 奈々は美咲よりもかわいい。

= Nana wa Misaki yori mo kawaii.

= Nana is cuter than Misaki.

 :rrrr: You are talking about Nana’s cuteness by comparing her with Misaki.

Ex. 2) 美咲より奈々の方がかわいい。

=Misaki yori Nana no hou ga kawaii.

= Nana is cuter than Misaki.

 :rrrr: You are comparing Misaki and Nana.

 :i: The difference between:

3) ABより &  4) ABほど

= A wa B yori ~  & A wa B hodo~

You use 4) Aは、Bほど ( = A wa, B hodo ~ ) in a negative form.

:rrrr: ほどない ( = hodo~ nai ) = not as much ~ as ~

Ex. ABより背が高い。

= A wa B yori se ga takai.

= A is taller than B.

 :i: Focusing on A

You can’t say:

X ABほど背が高い。

= A wa B hodo se ga takai.

You have to say

:u:

BAほど背が高くない

= B wa A hodo se ga takaku nai.

 :i:  Focusing on B

Ex.  ABより歌がうまい。

=A wa, B yori uta ga umai.

= A sings better than B does.

 :i: Focusing on A

Bは、Aほど歌がうまくない

= B wa, A hodo uta ga umaku nai.

= B doesn’t sing as well as A does.

 :i: Focusing on B

*****

 :ee: AはBより (+ adverb) + verb

= A wa  B yori  +  (+ adverb) + verb

= A does ~ more ~  than B.

or switch the word order,

:purple: AよりBは、~

= A yori B no hou ga,  ~.

= A is ~ more than B

Ex.  彼は君よりよく働く。

= Kare wa kimi yori yoku hataraku.

= He works more than you.

Ex.  昨日は妻よりも早く家に帰った。

= Kinou wa tsuma yori mo hayaku ie ni kaetta.

= I got home earlier than my wife last night.

*********
!yflower! A方がBより (+ adverb)  + verb

= A no hou ga B yori  (+ adverb) + verb

= A does ~ more~  than B

or switch the word order,

:jjj:  BよりA方が ( + adverb)  + verb

= B yori A no hou ga ( + adverb)  + verb

= A does ~ more~  than B

Ex.  私の方が彼女よりずっと彼のことを理解しているのに…

= Watashi no hou ga kanojo yori zutto kare no koto wo rikai shiteiru noni…

= I understand him much more than she does…

Ex.  新幹線で行くより飛行機で行った方が早く着く。

= Shinkansen de iku yori hikouki de itta hou ga hayaku tsuku.

= We will get there faster by airplane than shinkansen (bullet train).

*******
Now we will see how to use より ( = yori) in more patterns.

:kkk:  AよりB  = B over A  / A is more ~

Ex. より団子 (Old saying)

= Hana yori dango

= Sweet dumplings are better than flowers.

= It is more fun to eat and drink than enjoy the flowers.

Ex.  今は恋愛より仕事だ。

= Ima wa ren’ai yori shigoto da.

= I am interested in work more than romantic relationship now.

Ex.  今年の冬は東京よりも大阪に行きたい。

= Kotoshi no fuyu wa Toukyou yori mo Ousaka ni ikitai.

= I would like to go to Osaka more than Tokyo this winter.

Ex.  フランス料理よりも居酒屋で何か軽く食べない?

= Furansu ryouri yori mo izakaya de nan (or nani)  ka karuku tabenai?

= Why don’t we eat something light at an Izakaya (casual Japanese bar) rather than French food?

Ex.  ワンワンホテルよりニャンニャンホテルに泊まりたい。

= Wan-Wan hoteru yori Nyan-Nyan hoteru ni tomaritai.

= I’d rather stay at the Nyan-Nyan hotel more than the Wan-Wan hotel.

Ex.  弟は私よりももっとお金を持っている。

= Otouto wa watashi yori mo motto okane wo motte iru.

= My younger brother has even more money than I do.

 :tulip3: AよりBの方が~  = B over A / B is more ~ than A

Ex.  日本語より中国語の方が、発音が難しい。

= Nihongo yori chuugokugo no hou ga, hatsuon ga muzukashii.

= Chinese  pronunciation is more difficult than Japanese.

Ex.  電子ブックより紙の本の方が読みやすい。

= Denshibukku yori kami no hon no hou ga yomimasui.

= Paper books are easier to read than ebook.

 :yy: ~方が ~(= hou ga)

When it is obvious what you are comparing something with, you can skip より( = yori) and just say 方が ( = houga)

Ex.  道が混んでいるから歩いて行く方が早いんじゃない?

= Michiga konde iru kara aruite iku hou ga hayain janai?

= There is a traffic so, it will be faster if you walk. Don’t you think?

(skipping 車で行くより= kurumade iku yori = faster than going by a car)

Ex.  こっちの方がいいね。

= Kocchi no hou ga ii ne.

= This one is better.

(skipping other option. Ex. あっちより ( =  acchi yori) (better)  than that one)

Ex.  明日の方が都合がいいです。

= Ashita no hou ga tsugou ga ii desu.

= Tomorrow is better for me. ( It will be more convenient tomorrow.)

Ex.  今の髪型の方がいいね。

= Ima no kamigata no hou ga iine.

= I like your present hairstyle better.

*******
:s: ~ より( = yori) : When you describe something comparing with certain thing / time period / person.

Ex. 去年より日本語が上手になりましたね。

= Kyonen yori nihongo ga jouzu ni narimashitane.

= Compared to last year  your Japanese has been improving more.

= Your Japanese has improved since last year.

Ex.  彼女は、私よりも足が長い。

= Kanojo wa, watashi yori mo ashi ga nagai.

= She has longer legs than I.

Ex.  このおもちゃは5歳より下の子供向けです。

= Kono omocha wa gosai yori shita no kodomo muke desu.

= This toy is for children  under the age of five.

Ex. より広くなったね。

= Mae yori hiroku natta ne.

= It is (looks) more spacious than before.

Ex.  息子さん、以前より明るくなりましたね。

= Musuko san, izen yori akaruku narimashita ne.

= Your son is getting more cheerful than before, isn’t he?

Ex.  思ったより大変だった。

= Omotta yori taihen datta.

= It was harder than I thought.

Ex.  彼は想像していたよりもっとイケメンだった。

= Kare wa souzou shiteita yori motto ikemen datta.

= He was even cuter than I imagined.

Ex. ないよりまし。

= Nai yori mashi.

= Better than nothing.

 :mm: より ( = yori) + adjective / adverb + verb  = (even) more ~

Ex.  世の中はより便利になりました。

= Yononaka wa yori benri ni narimashita.

= The world has become even more convenient.

Ex.  より速く情報を手に入れたい。

= Yori hayaku jouhou wo te ni iretai.

= I would like to obtain the information even faster.

Ex.  より大きな家に住むためにはもっと貯金をしなくてはいけない。

= Yori ookina ie ni sumu tameni wa motto chokin wo shinakute wa ikenai.

= I have to save more money In order to live in a bigger house.

Ex.  最近、より頻繁に彼から電話がかかってくる。

= Saikin, yori hinpan ni kare kara denwa ga kakatte kuru.

= I’ve been getting a call from him  much more frequently than usual now.

Ex.  より綺麗に撮れるカメラが欲しい。

= Yori kirei ni toreru kamera ga hoshii.

= I would love to have a camera which I can take even more beautiful pictures.

Ex.  日本語がより上手に話せるようになるにはどうしたらいいですか?

= Nihongo ga yori jouzu ni hanaseruyou ni naru niwa doushitara ii desuka?

= What should I do in order to be able to speak Japanese even better?

Note: In conversation, we use もっと ( = motto) more.

 !Anapple! より ( = yori)+ adjective + より ( = yori)+ adjective  (literal)

You may see this type of lines in advertisement.

Ex.  より速く、より安全に。

= Yori hayaku, yori anzen ni.

= Faster and safer.

Ex.  より軽く、より使いやすく。

= Yori karuku, yori tsukaiyasuku.

= Lighter and easier to use.

!Anapple! Interrogative word + より ( = yori ) : more than anything/ anybody

Ex.  よりもあなたのことを愛しています。

= Dare yori mo anata no koto wo aishite imasu.

= I love you more than anybody.

Switch the word order:

 :rrrr: あなたのことを誰よりも愛しています。

= Anata no koto wo dare yori mo aishite imasu.

Ex.  彼女の日本語は誰よりも上手い。

= Kanojo no nihongo wa dare yori mo umai.

= Her Japanese is better than anybody’s.

Ex.  よりも大切なものは心の中にあります。

= Nani yori mo taisetsuna mono wa kokoro no naka ni arimasu.

= The most important thing is in your heart.

Ex.  うちのチームはどこよりも強い。

= Uchi no chiimu wa doko yori mo tsuyoi.

= Our team is stronger than any other team.

***
:qq: より ( = yori ) + adjective+ noun+ ( = wa ) +( verb )〜  ない ( = inai)

= Nothing is more ~ than ~

Ex. 「子供より大切なものはないよ。」

= Kodomo yori taisetsu na mono wa naiyo.

= Nothing is more precious than my child, you know.

Ex. より好きなひとはいない。( = kimi = male speech)

= Kimi yori sukina hito wa inai.

= You are the only one I love. (Nobody else.)

Ex.  ただより高いものはない。( Old saying)

= Tada yori takai mono wa nai.

=Nothing is as costly as a free gift.

( There is always a catch for free gifts. /cheap things.)

********
maggie-senseiマギー先生より= Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

ありがとう、Chuzzle先生、Frisky先生!

= Arigatou, Chuzzle Sensei, Frisky Sensei!

= Thank you, Chuzzle Sensei and Frisky Sensei.

二人ともかわいいと思うよ。

= Futari tomo kawaii to omou yo.

= I think you are both cute.

 

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31 Comments

  1. マギー先生、「より」の使い方を教えてくれてありがとうございます!!
    質問が一つあります。
    dateの後で「より」を使ったら、「より」の意味はなんですか。例えば、「7月2日より・・」というのはどういう意味ですか。

    よろしくおねがいします!! !greenapple! 

  2. Dear Maggie sensei,

    きしむベッドの上で優しさを持ちより
    きつく躰 抱きしめあえば
    それからまた二人は目を閉じるよ
    悲しい歌に愛がしらけてしまわぬ様に

    What does this ‘yori’ mean? 持ちより

  3. Hi, Maggie-sensei! Sorry to bother you!
    I have a line that I’m trying to make sense of with ‘yori’, but it’s difficult for me because I think it may be in slang.

    The line is :
    前からカワイかったのに、よりカワイくなったって。

    Actually, there are a number of things I don’t understand about this!
    First of all, my understanding is something like “Even though I used to be cute, there was a time I was not.” Although I think I might be completely wrong.

    I don’t think I’ve seen the construction of ‘maekara’ before. Does this mean ‘before what you see in front of you’?

    And why do they put the ‘yori’ comparative before the negative form of ‘was not cute’ without a subject and action? This sentence is confusing me a lot. I would appreciate any help you can give.

    Thank you very much, Maggie-sensei!

    1. @AC

      Hi AC,
      Usually when you use より, you use this pattern
      →AよりBのほうが、adjective
      But sometimes you use the pattern
      より+adjective = even more + adjective.

      I don’t know the context but the speaker is talking about herself?

      If so, someone told me that I was cute before but I got even cuter.
      よりかわいくなった= to become even cuter.

      1. That’s right. The speaker is a very egotistical person who is talking about herself. Thank you for showing me this new form of ‘yori’. I will definitely remember it.

        I appreciate your time to answer all these questions! Thank you for helping me understand the beautiful language of Japanese better.

  4. I thought i’d understood ~より boy you proved be wrong…………lol
    thank you for your post on yori :p

  5. マギーお姫様、 :tulip3:

    お久しぶりだね。前より少ないタイポが見当たりました。お見事ね。

    “A wa, B yori uta ga umail.” :rrrr: “umai”

    1. Can you explain the change of verbtenses in your sentence: “Shinkansen de iku yori hikouki de itta hou ga hayaku tsuku.” Why is it “itta”?

    2. I found this sentence “遅くなっても何もないよりはまし。” It looks quite complicated, is there an easier way to say “Better…than…”, such as “Better late than never”, “Better safe than sorry”, “Better fat than stupid”? !niconico! 

    よろしくお願いします

    1. Hello!
      ありがとう!私はtypoのお姫様ですよ。
      今回はzohebさんがもういっぱい直してくれました。

      I am very fortunate to have zoheb and you to find the typos. :)
      Typo見つけの王子様です!

      1. 新幹線で行くより飛行機で行った方がはやい。
      = Shinkansen de iku yori hikouki itta hou ga hayai.

      You can also say

      新幹線で行くより飛行機で行く方がはやい。
      = Shinkansen de iku yori hikouki iku hou ga hayai.

      We often use ~た(=ta) form to indicate the completion of the action. (have done/ have gone..)
      自分でやる方がいい。
      = Jibun de yaru hou ga ii.
      = It will be better to do all by myself.


      自分でやった方がいい。
      = Jibun de yatta hou ga ii

      2.
      Better ~ than ~

      If you compare two nouns, you can say
      A yori B no hou ga mashi.
      (Note: This word まし(=mashi) is negative so be careful when you use it. You can use it for your own action but do not use it for someone. )

      The basic pattern is:
      adjective

      ~て(で)も〜〜方がいい(or まし)
      ~ te (de) mo ~~~ hou ga ii (or mashi)

      Verb
      ~するよりも〜方がいい(or まし)
      ~ Suru yori mo ~ hou ga ii (or mashi)
      〜しないよりも〜した/するがいい(or まし)
      ~ shinai yori mo ~ shita /suru hou ga ii (or mashi)

      遅くなっても = Even ( I give you the present) this late
      better safe than sorry. We have an idiom so it sounds more complicated 備えあれば憂いなし (=Sonae areba urei nashi)

  6. hello maggie sensei^^

    in the examples: Dochira mo suki desu / Dochira mo suki dewa arimasen..
    can I say demo instead of mo..like : Dochira demo suki desu/ dochira demo suki dewa arimasen?

    I wonder if you can you make a similar lesson about denying 2 option or more using demo…like this sentence:
    彼の考え方は具体的でも抽象的でもなかった。

    Lately I studied this sentence ,and made me confused .. I always use demo in positive situation like >> dochi demo ii yo..
    I know that demo is used like any , even or even if

    thank you..

    1. @Roro

      Hi Roro,

      Your question seemed very easy to answer at first but it is actually very deep.
      どちらも好きです。= Dochira mo suki desu.
      どちらも好きではありません。 = Dochira mo suki dewa arimasen.

      You can’t replace も(=mo) with でも (=demo)

      ****
      While も emphasize the meaning, でも has a connotation of “Even”
      どちらもいいです。= Dochira mo ii desu. = Both of them are good.
      どちらでもいいです。= Dochira demo ii desu. = Either one is fine.

      *****
      ~でも〜でもない
      OK, I will add it to the request lesson list. :)

      1. but I still can say: dochira demo ii desu if I want to emphasize on one of them, righ???

        OK,, I think I got it…correct me if I’m wrong, please
        dochira demo suki dewa arimasen = means I don’t like any of them..

        thank you maggie sensei :tulip3:

        1. @Roro
          but I still can say: dochira demo ii desu if I want to emphasize on one of them, righ???
          →”Dochira demo ii” means “which ever” (It doesn’t matter) and so you are not emphasizing neither one.
          “Dochira mo ii” means you like both of them.

          ****
          Again, you can’t say
          dochira demo suki dewa arimasen
          You have to say ”Dochira mo suki dewa arimasen.”  = I don’t like any of them.

  7. Hello! Where can I ask questions or request help with translations? Do you have an e-mail for that purpose? Or is it okay to ask questions that are not relevant to the lesson topic here in the comment section?

    1. @Hirviruhtinatar

      Hi, I can help if it is a simple question. (one or two at a time.)
      You can leave a question in Maggie’s Room. But I don’t help translation.

  8. Hi Maggie Sensei,

    便利なレッスンを使ってくれてありがとうございます!

    Minkyの方がMistyより太っていますよ。 :maggie-small: でも、どれもとても可愛いと思いますね。 !happyface!

    1. @Palidor

      こんにちは、Palidor!
      そのコメントはMisty先生には内緒(ないしょ)ね。 :)
      わかります!どちらもかわいいですね。 boucingheart!
      (どれも→どちらも:人や動物には「どれも」より「どちらも」の方がいいですよ。 !onpu!

  9. Niku yori sakana no hou ga suki desu.
    = I like fish more than !koujichuu!  !koujichuu!  fish. :rrrr: :rrrr: meat
    佐藤さんは田中さんよりもケチだ。
    = Satou-san wa [tanaka] :rrrr: :rrrr: Yamada-san yori mo kechi da.
    Ex. 去年より日本語が上手になりましたね。
    = :rrrr: Kyone [kyonen]yori nihongo ga jouzu ni narimashitane.
    Ex. あの子は、私よりも足が長い。
    = Anoko wa, watashi yori mo ashi ga nagai.
    = [why not “that kid”]!koujichuu!  !koujichuu!  [She] has longer legs than I.

    1. @zoheb

      Thank you zoheb boucingheart!
      いつも本当にありがとう!
      I really appreciate it!

      I fixed all the typos.
      あの子 is not necessary “that child/kid”. You can refer to a young girl (or sometimes a boy). But I changed あの子 to 彼女 to avoid the confusion.

  10. Hello!

    Thanks again for the great lesson. 期待していたよりよく習った

    I have one question about this example:

    Ex. 京都の方が大阪よりも名古屋から近いです。

    = Kyouto no hou ga Osaka yori mo Nagoya kara chikai desu.

    = Kyoto is closer to Osaka from Nagoya.

    Shouldn’t it be “Kyouto is closer THAN Osaka from Nagoya”? Because from my perspective “Kyoto is closer to Osaka from Nagoya” would be something like this 京都は名古屋から大坂にもっと近い

    Am I missing something? hahaha.

    Also I found a small typo: “Furansu ryouri yori mo izakaya de nanka karuku trabenai?”

    Thanks again for the great lesson.

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