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rcxAsh

I'm not sure if I completely understand how to properly phrase comparisons. Typically, is

it correct to say that you use 比 to make comparisons?

So for example, is it correct to say:

加拿大比新加坡好冷 - Canada is colder than Singapore

Assuming that what I've written is correct, is it always supposed to be this straight

forward, or are there any caveats for its use?

Following from this, I've been wondering about the usage of 比较.

Is it used in a similar way to my previous sentence? For example:

加拿大比较新加坡好冷

I believe that I've also heard sentences like:

他的国语比较好

Does this translate roughly to "His Mandarin is rather good"?

So if you wanted to express something like, "Your Mandarin is better than mine," is it

correct to say:

你的国语比我的(国语)就好

Are there any other common structures to form comparisons?

Thanks for any thoughts!

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semantic nuance
加拿大比新加坡好冷

加拿大比新加坡冷 or 加拿大比新加坡還冷

Roughly, try this pattern: A 比 B (adj)

If you have to use 比較, then you may consider this pattern: (mind you, this is only a rough pattern i come up with after reading your questions, so it's not authentic.)

A 和 B比較起來, A/B + N/ V比較 adj./adv

A 和 B比較的話, A/B + N/ V比較 adj./adv

Examples:

加拿大和新加坡比較起來, 加拿大比較冷.

加拿大和新加坡比較的話, 加拿大比較冷.

Mary 和 Jane 比較起來, Mary的氣質比較好.

Mary 和 Jane 比較的話, Mary的氣質比較好.

Mary 和 Jane 比較起來, Mary跑得比較快.

Mary 和 Jane 比較的話, Mary跑得比較快.

你的国语比我的(国语)就好

你的國語比我的(國語)還好.

你的國語比我的(國語)要好.

你的國語比我的(國語)還要好.

Hope it helps!:)

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untearbird

hey there, it's hard for me to explian the grammar in english for ya, but i can at least tell you those are supposed to be:

加拿大比新加坡冷.(比=than,when you have a "then", you don't say "very", so there should be no"很",and 比较 means rather, yes, you dont use 比较 with a better,colder... or whatever)

他的国语比较好.(perfect!!!)

你的国语比我的(国语)好.(no need "就"),他的国语就比我的好.(which can show that your are modest, there are indeed someone speak better Mandarine than me, and the someone is 他)

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rcxAsh

Ah thanks for the clarifications! If varying degrees are desired, is it possible to extend it to:

加拿大比新加坡非常冷 - Canada is much colder than Singapore?

加拿大比新加坡不太热 - Canada is not really as hot as Singapore?

Also thanks for the examples with 比较. Are there any other typical ways that one might typically use 比较?

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skylee
加拿大比新加坡非常冷 - Canada is much colder than Singapore?

Consider 加拿大比新加坡冷很多 or 加拿大比新加坡冷得多.

加拿大比新加坡不太热 - Canada is not really as hot as Singapore?

Consider 加拿大沒新加坡那麼熱.

Edited by skylee

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koreth

The other caveat is you don't negate adjectives you use with 比. That is, you don't say

新加坡比加拿大不冷。(Singapore is more not-cold than Canada.)

Instead you either negate 比 by turning it into 没有 or into 不比:

新加坡没有加拿大冷。(Singapore isn't as cold as Canada.)

新加坡不比加拿大冷。(Singapore isn't colder than Canada.)

Those are subtly different in that the second one would still be correct if Singapore and Canada were the same temperature -- that is, it says Singapore isn't *more* cold than Canada, so it might be equally cold or less cold. For the most part in everyday speech people won't make that fine distinction unless they're being really pedantic, but may as well learn to be precise from the get-go.

With the 没有 form you can add 那么 for emphasis:

新加坡没有加拿大那么冷。(Singapore isn't nearly as cold as Canada.)

but you can't add that with 不比.

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awela

To correct some mistakes of the sentence. content in <> should be deleted:

加拿大比新加坡<好>冷 (when 好 means by extent, it's usually only used in interjectional sentence)

加拿大比<较>新加坡好冷 (no such expression, 比较should be used in another formula when in comparision, as in below)

你的国语比我的(国语)<就>好(can't use 就, 还/要/更 instead)

To express comparison(comparative degree):

(1)A + 比 + B + (intensify word) + adjective + (extent complement)= A is more adjective(comparative degree) than B

eg. 加拿大比新加坡(还/要)冷(很多/得多)

intention:"A + 比 + B + 更 + adjective" cannot add complement

(2)A+ adjective + 过 + B = A is more adjective(comparative degree) than B[过: over]

eg. 加拿大冷过新加坡

(3)(when A and B are both known to conversation parties) A + 比较 + adjective = A is more adjective(comparative degree) than B [比较: compare/comparatively]

eg. 他的国语比较好= his language is comparatively good(=better)

(3)(when A and B are both known to conversation parties) A + 更 + adjective = A is more adjective(comparative degree) than B [更: even]

eg. 他的国语更好= his language is even good(=better)

This quite include most comparison in positive sentence

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HashiriKata
(3)(when A and B are both known to conversation parties) A + 比较 + adjective = A is more adjective(comparative degree) than B [比较: compare/comparatively]

eg. 他的国语比较好= his language is comparatively good(=better)

(3)(when A and B are both known to conversation parties) A + 更 + adjective = A is more adjective(comparative degree) than B [更: even]

eg. 他的国语更好= his language is even good(=better)

Does this mean both "他的国语比较好" and "他的国语更好" can be used in the same context and mean the same?

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xiaocai

[

Does this mean both "他的国语比较好" and "他的国语更好" can be used in the same context and mean the same?

I think so. They are almost always interchangeable and you can replace one with the other with little alteration of the meaning.

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HashiriKata

Thanks for the confirmation, xiaocai!

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rcxAsh

Wow thanks so much for the explanations everyone! They are very helpful. For the construction with 更, if I wanted to express something to the extent of "I learned Mandarin better in Singapore," would something like this be correct?

朋友A: 你在加拿大学国语吗?

朋友B: 对,可是我在新加坡学国语更好。

Also, for these sentences:

加拿大比新加坡要冷

加拿大比新加坡还冷

加拿大比新加坡冷

Are there any changes in implication/emphasis by the addition of 要/还? For example, like how 还好 isn't as good (好) as 好. (啊可不可以说:“还好”的意思没“好”的意思好... 还是太奇怪? haha..)

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skylee
朋友B: 对,可是我在新加坡学国语更好。

Consider 可是我在新加坡學國語學得更好.

加拿大比新加坡要冷

加拿大比新加坡还冷

加拿大比新加坡冷

Are there any changes in implication/emphasis by the addition of 要/还?

Not in this context, IMO.

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