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Answer to the exercise on World Cup or NBA

Jun. 19, 2014

Correct Answer: C

People compare a lot of things in their daily lives or while at work. For example, when you go shopping, you might compare two pairs of shoes to decide which one has better quality. Or you might compare two dresses to decide which one suits you best. Today we are going to take a close look at how to use Chinese comparative words.

In Chinese, the most commonly seen comparative words are “比()” and “比较(bǐ jiào)”. They both mean “to compare” or “to contrast,” but their usages are different.

“比()” is used as a preposition meaning “more than.” When used to compare two things or people, “比()” is usually used in the sentence structure “A + 比() + B + Adjective” to mean “A is more… than B.” Here, A and B are two items being compared and the adjective is used to show in what respect they are being compared.

Examples:

Xiàtiān chūntiān rè.
夏天    春天      热。
The summer is hotter than the spring.

Píngguǒ júzi tián.
苹果      橘子 甜。
Apples are sweeter than oranges.

On the other hand, “比较(bǐ jiào)” is usually used as an adverb to mean “comparatively more” or “rather.” The sentence structure using “比较(bǐ jiào)” is “A + 比较(bǐ jiào) + Adjective,” meaning “A is comparatively more….” You can see that there is no subject “B” when using “比较(bǐ jiào).” Therefore, this sentence structure is a simpler type of comparative sentence, and we use it when there is no need to specify other items to compare it to.

Examples:

Zhèlǐ de dōngxi bǐjiào guì.
这里  的 东西     比较 贵。
Things here are more expensive.

Zuótiān de tiānqì bǐjiào hǎo.
昨天      的  天气 比较 好。
Yesterday’s weather was better.

Translation of the Dialogue

Nǐ xǐhuan kàn shìjièbēi háishì NBA ?
Jason:你 喜欢   看    世界杯   还是   NBA?
Do you like to watch the World Cup or the NBA?

Wǒ xǐhuan kàn shìjièbēi, yīnwèi shìjièbēi bǐjiào rè’nao. Nǐ ne?
Mike:我 喜欢     看    世界杯,因为    世界杯   比较  热闹。你呢?
I like to watch the World Cup because it is rather lively. And you?

Wǒ yě xǐhuan kàn shìjièbēi, wǒ juéde zúqiú bǐ lánqiú yǒu yìsi.
Jason:我 也  喜欢     看   世界杯,我  觉得   足球 比 篮球   有 意思。
I like to watch the World Cup too because I think soccer is more interesting than             basketball.

In the test above, we can see that there is no subject “B” in what Mike says. Like in this instance, we use “比较(bǐ jiào)” when there is no need to specify any other item to make a comparison. We use “比()” in the second blank because Jason is making a comparison between “篮球(lánqiú)” and “足球(zúqiú).” Therefore, the correct answer is C.

<<Back to “Mandarin Test: World Cup or NBA?”

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