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Clear up Your Confusion About Using Chinese Comparative Structures Now

May. 3, 2019

HSK 3 quiz

Making a correlation between two things you want to say in Chinese often results in nothing but confusion. While the term “more” is often used in English to describe an increase, looking a bit further into this world, which can bring a deeper understanding of the word’s construction and use in daily conversation while speaking Chinese.

For starters, you can express the correlation between two opposing things, or compare actions by using “越…越…(yuè…yuè…) the more…the more…”, a comparative correlative.

And the repeated comparative of “越来越 (yuè lái yuè) more and more” also expresses things increasing or decreasing, but emphasize a trend or likeliness of a trend. In other words, the repeated comparatives of “more and more” emphasize increasingly.

Let’s jump into learning more about each one of these phrases “越…越… (yuè…yuè…) the more…the more…” and “越来越 (yuè lái yuè) more and more” to better help you construct sentences using them in Chinese.

越来越 (Yuè lái yuè) more and more

It is a common phrase used to express that a thing or action is increasing or decreasing in degree or severity into the future. The repeated comparative uses the word “more” twice in English, hence the reason why in English grammar, the name is “repeated comparative.”

In Chinese, the “越 (yuè)” is seen as more, while the “来 (lái)” means “to come”, literally meaning “there’s more to come”, or “there’s more of an increase (or decrease)”. When used in a sentence of Chinese, “越来越 (yuè lái yuè) more and more” always follows the subject, and precedes the adjective or mental verb followed by “了 (le)”.

The grammatical structure of a sentence uses “越来越 (yuè lái yuè) more and more”, along with an adjective looks like this:

Subj. + 越来越 (yuè lái yuè) + Adj. + 了 (le)

The Sooner the Better! 越快越好 (Yuè kuài yuè hǎo)!

Here are examples of “越来越 (yuè lái yuè) more and more” in use when an adjective is in the sentence:

Kuài yào qīmò kǎoshì le, xuéshēng men de yālì yuè lái yuè dà le.
快要期末考试了,学生们的压力越来越大了。
As the final exam date approaches, the pressure on the students is getting heavier and heavier.

Nǐ de zhōngwén shuō de yuè lái yuè liúlì le.
你的中文说得越来越流利了。
You speak Chinese more and more fluently.

Huánjìng wūrǎn de wèntí yuè lái yuè yánzhòng le.
环境污染的问题越来越严重了。
The problem of environmental pollution is becoming more and more serious.

The grammatical structure of a sentence that uses “越来越 (yuè lái yuè)” along with a mental state verb looks like this:

Subj. + 越来越 (yuè lái yuè) + verb + 了 (le)

Here are examples of “越来越 (yuè lái yuè)” in use when a mental state verb is in the sentence:

Wǒ yuè lái yuè xiāngxìn tā de huà le.
我越来越相信他的话了 。
I’m more and more convinced of what he said.

Tā yuè lái yuè xǐhuān yóuyǒng le.
她越来越喜欢游泳了 。
She is more and more fond of swimming.

Wǒ yuè lái yuè liǎojiě tā le.
我越来越了解她了。
I know more and more about her.

越…越… (Yuè…yuè…) the more … the more…

To express the correlation between two things, that are escalating, and are depending on one another, in Chinese you can use “越…越… (yuè…yuè…) the more … the more …” correlative comparative always indicates that an action, belief, or psychological state or feeling is changing, in relation to the development of another action or thing.

The grammatical structure of a sentence that uses “越…越… (yuè…yuè…) the more…the more…” along with either an adjective or mental state verb looks like this:

Subject +越 (yuè) +adjective /Verb+越 (yuè) +adjective /verb

Here are examples of “越…越… (yuè…yuè…) the more…the more…” in use when an adjective or mental state verb is in the sentence:

Nǐ yuè shuō, wǒ yuè jǐnzhāng.
你越说,我越紧张。
The more you say, the more nervous I am.

Nǐ yuè zǎo jiēshòu zhìliáo, huīfù de kěnéng xìng yuè gāo.
你越早接受治疗,恢复的可能性越高。
The sooner you receive treatment, the higher the likelihood of recovery.

Yìbān lái shuō, niánjì yuè dà, jìxing yuè bùhǎo.
一般来说,年纪越大,记性越不好。
In general, the memory is getting worse with the older you get.

Grammar Note:

It’s worth noting that both of them are used for expressing the degree or severity of the action or mental state, and cannot be used with adjectives of degree such as:

“很 (Hěn ) very”, “十分 (shífēn) very; fully; utterly; extremely”, “非常 (fēicháng) very; extremely; highly”, “太 (tài) too; extremely; exceedingly; very” and so on.

Also, when using “越来越 (yuè lái yuè) more and more” with a verb in a sentence, in most cases, the verb will be a mental state verb such as:

“喜欢 (Xǐhuān) like”, “希望 (xīwàng) wish”, “相信 (xiāngxìn) believe” and so on.

Sentence Structure: 我喜欢… (Wǒ xǐhuān…) I like…

In Chinese, “越…越… (yuè…yuè…) the more … the more …” and “越来越 (yuè lái yuè) more and more” are common grammatical cues that you can use to easily structure your sentences like a native speaker, and do so with the utmost confidence and absolute proficiency!

HSK 3 quiz
1. Please choose the Chinese sentence with an error.

A. 我越来越喜欢你了。 (Wǒ yuè lái yuè xǐhuān nǐ le.)

B. 我越来越学习汉语了。 (Wǒ yuè lái yuè xuéxí hànyǔ le.)

C. 我越来越觉得你是对的。 (Wǒ yuè lái yuè juéde nǐ shì duì de.)

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