N5 Grammar | Making Basic Comparisons in Japanese

Today we are going to teach you how to make comparisons in Japanese with the help of some important comparison particles.

We’ve already mentioned particles in the past and they are a key component of the Japanese language and how sentences are built.

Here is a Complete Guide on 15 Japanese Particles, if you need to review a few of them.

Study time!

Japanese Basic Comparisons | With ほう

Japanese Basic Comparisons | With より

Japanese Basic Comparisons | With ほど

Japanese Basic Comparisons | With 同じくらい

Japanese Basic Comparisons | With 一番

Comparisons in Japanese

Japanese Comparisons | Comparing Two Objects With ほう

We are often trying to determine what the “best” thing is.

Here’s how we express these ideas in Japanese, and let’s start with A is more B (than something else).

A (noun) のほうが BA no hou ga B
A (い adj) ほうが BA hou ga B
A (な adj) + なほうが BA na hou ga B

In this example, what A is being compared to has likely already been stated. B can be any adjective, or an adverb and verb phrase.

KanjiHiraganaRomajiEnglish
このレストランのほうが高いこのれすとらんのほうがたかいkono reustoran no hou ga takaiThis restaurant is more expensive
安いほうがいいやすいほうがいいyasui hou ga iiCheap is better/the cheap one is better
静かなほうが好きしずかなほうがすきshizukana hou ga sukiI prefer the quiet

Japanese Comparisons | Comparing Two Objects With より

We can also state what we are comparing in the sentence, using より (yori).

より is attached to the end of the word, meaning “more than”.

It is affixed to what we want to compare something to (not to the main subject we want to speak about).

A は B より楽しいA は B よりたのしいA wa B yori tanoshiiA is more fun than B

A is what we want to talk about and it is what we are describing as 楽しい.

We can see this if we break the sentence down into parts and remove the より portion:

AB より 楽しい

> A は 楽しい (A is fun)


It is as if inside this sentence, we are saying, X is fun. How fun? More than Y.

Typically with より, we want to use a verb in the affirmative, as opposed to a negative.

If something is not as big as something else, we will say:

AB より小さい


A is smaller than B

Rather than:

A は B より大きくない


A is less big than B

Japanese Comparisons | “as…as” with ほど

To make these comparisons sound more natural, we can use ほど (hodo).

ほど indicates a degree, or extent, and translates to “as ~ as”.

Let’s write again the latest sentence example using ほど:

A は B ほど大きくな いA wa B hodo ookikunaiA is not as big as B

ほど is also useful when constructing sentences to convey that something is equal to something else.

A は山ほどあるA wa yama hodo aru There is as much X as a mountain (there is a ton of A)
バラほど赤いbara hodo akaiAs red as a rose

Japanese Comparisons | Similarity with 同じくらい

同じくらい (onajikurai) expresses that something is the same as, or similar to something else.

AB と同じくらい CA wa B to onajikurai CA is as C as B

C can be an adjective or an adverb and adjective phrase.

KanjiHiraganaRomajiEnglish
彼は私と同じくらい 速く泳げるかれはわたしとおな じくらいはやくおよげるkare wa watashi to onajikurai hayaku oyogeruHe can swim as fast as I can

Japanese Comparisons | Superlative With 一番

Superlative comparisons are created by placing 一番 (ichiban), meaning “number one” before the adjective.

With this form we can compare something to a whole group. We can say something is the most ~, or the ~est.

Structure:

AB の中で一番 CAB のなかでいち ばん CA wa B no nakade ichiban CA is the most B out of all of C

Example:

そのビルはこの都市の中で一番高いそのびるはこのとしのなかでいちばんたかいsono biru wa kono toshi no naka de ichiban takaiThat building is the tallest in this city

Now you know how to create basic comparisons in Japanese!

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Japanese Object Particle

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are some basic Japanese comparison particles?

Some basic Japanese comparison particles are:

– ほう and より to compare two objects

– ほど to express “as…as”

– 同じくらい for similarities

– Superlatives With 一番

Any other Japanese particle I should know about?

Japanese has several important particles to learn about:

– The object particle を

– The subject particle が

– The possessive particle の

– Locations particles で, に, and へ

You’ll see more as you move forward in your language learning.

What is the Japanese basic sentence structure?

The most basic structure of the Japanese language is:

Subject + は + Object + です.

Check out all of them in our Sentence Structures lesson.

Can I learn Japanese online?

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Where can I find other Japanese lessons for free?

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Other Grammar

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