Japanese Expressions for Comparison -
Intermediate Lessons: 21

You will learn what Japanese expressions to use when comparing two items in this lesson. The items being compared can be people, things, places, time, etc.

The first expression is to ask the comparing question. Let's see the sentence pattern...

NounA と NounB と どちらが Adjective ですか

Meaning: Which is more Adjective? NounA or NounB?

To answer this question, you can use the following Japanese expression (sentence pattern)...

(NounA より) NounB (or NounA) のほうが Adjective です

Meaning: NounB (or NounA) is more Adjective.
The one in the bracket (NounA より) can be omitted.

Both the question and answer look simple, aren't they? Let's practise with some examples...

Japanese expressions for comparison

  • 北海道と大阪とどちらが暑いですか。
    hokkaidou to oosaka to dochira ga atsui desu ka
    Meaning: Which place is hotter? Hokkaido or Osaka?

  • 大阪のほうが暑いです。
    oosaka no hou ga atsui desu
    Meaning: Osaka is hotter.

  • 新幹線と電車とどちらが高いですか。
    shinkansen to densha to dochira ga takai desu ka
    Meaning: Which one is more expensive? Bullet Train or Train?

  • 新幹線のほうが高いです。
    shinkansen no hou ga takai desu
    Meaning: Bullet Train is more expensive.

  • 鈴木さんの鞄と山田さんの鞄とどちらが重いですか。
    suzuki san no kaban to yamada san no kaban to dochira ga omoi desu ka
    Meaning: Whose bag is heavier? Mr Suzuki's bag or Mr Yamada's bag?

  • 鈴木さんの鞄のほうが重いです。
    suzuki san no kaban no hou ga omoi desu
    Meaning: Mr Suzuki's bag is heavier.

  • アメリカと日本とどちらが大きいですか。
    amerika to nihon to dochira ga ookii desu ka
    Meaning: Which country is bigger? America or Japan?

  • アメリカのほうが大きいです。
    amerika no houga ookii desu
    Meaning: America is bigger.

  • 田中さんと高松さんとどちらが背が高いですか。
    tanaka san to takamatsu san to dochira ga se ga takai desu ka
    Meaning: Who is taller? Ms Tanaka or Ms Takamatsu?

  • 高松さんのほうが背が高いです。
    takamatsu san no hou ga takai desu
    Meaning: Ms Takamatsu is taller.

  • ジョンさんとマイクさんとどちらがテニスが上手ですか。
    jon san to maiku san to dochira ga tenisu ga jouzu desu ka
    Meaning: Who is better at tennis? John or Mike?

  • マイクさんのほうがテニスが上手です。
    maiku san no hou ga tenisu ga jouzu desu
    Meaning: Mike is better at tennis.

  • 肉と魚とどちらが好きですか。
    niku to sakana to dochira ga suki desu ka
    Meaning: Which one do you prefer? Meat or Fish?

  • 肉のほうが好きです。
    niku no hou ga suki desu
    Meaning: I prefer meat.

Another Japanese Expression on Comparison

There is one more Japanese expression which you can use to compare two items. The sentence pattern is as follow...

NounA は NounB より Adjective です

Meaning: NounA is more Adjective than NounB.

より (yori) here has the meaning of "than" or "as compared to". Therefore you can say "As compared to NounB, NounA is more Adjective".

For example...

  • 日本はアメリカより小さいです。
    nihon wa amerika yori chiisai desu
    Meaning: Japan is smaller than America.

  • 山田さんの鞄は鈴木さんの鞄より軽いです。
    yamada san no kaban wa suzuki san no kaban yori karui desu
    Meaning: Mr Yamada's bag is lighter than Mr Suzuki's bag.

  • 電車は新幹線より安いです。
    densha wa shinkansen yori yasui desu
    Meaning: Train is cheaper than Bullet Train.

  • 北海道は大阪より寒いです。
    hokkaidou wa oosaka yori samui desu
    Meaning: Hokkaido is colder than Osaka.

  • 田中さんは高松さんより背が低いです。
    tanaka san wa takamatsu san yori se ga hikui desu
    Meaning: Ms Tanaka is shorter than Ms Takamatsu.

  • ジョンさんはマイクさんよりテニスが下手です。
    jon san wa maiku yori tenisu ga heta desu
    Meaning: John's tennis skill is poor as compared to Mike.

All the above Japanese expressions are commonly used in comparing two items.


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