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Answer to the Exercise on “This Is Better Than That: Basic Comparisons in Chinese“

Nov. 19, 2014

Correct Answer: B

In the Chinese language “比()” means “to compare.” People often need to make comparisons to explain that something is better, faster, stronger, and so on. So how can we do this in Chinese? Read on to learn some typical sentence structures used to make comparisons in Chinese.

Structure One: A + 比() + B + Adjective

This structure means that A is … than B.

Examples:

Jim bǐ wǒ gāo.
Jim 比 我  高.
Jim is taller than me.

Píngguǒ bǐ lí piányi.
苹果       比 梨 便宜。
Apples are cheaper than pears.

Structure Two: A + 比() + B + 更(gèng) + Adjective

In this structure, 更(gèng) means “even more.”

Examples:

Xiǎo Lǐ bǐ Xiǎo Zhāng gèng gāo.
小    李 比 小     张       更    高 。
Xiao Li is even taller than Xiao Zhang.

Structure Three: 比 起(Bǐ qǐ)A,B + 更(gèng)+ Adjective

Changing the word order, this structure is a variation of Structure Two. It can be used to express the meaning, “Compared to A, B is more…”

Examples:

Bǐ qǐ Xiǎo Zhāng, Xiǎo Lǐ gèng gāo.
比 起 小       张,  小    李 更      高。
Compared to Xiao Zhang, Xiao Li is even taller.

Bǐ qǐ Bruce,   David gèng yōuxiù.
比 起Bruce,David 更      优秀。
Compared to Bruce, David is more outstanding.

Bǐ qǐ qiūtiān, wǒ gèng xǐhuan chūntiān.
比 起 秋天, 我    更     喜欢       春天。
Compared to autumn, I like spring more.

In our test, we know from the word “比()” that the sentence is making a comparison between Beijing and Shanghai. “最(zuì)” can only be used to make comparisons between three or more things. “还(hái)” and “多(duō)” are not usually used to make comparisons. This means the correct answer is B.

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