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French Comparative and Superlative Adverbs

Adverbes comparatifs et superlatifs

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Comparatives and superlatives are adverbs that let you make comparisons between two or more things. Their names indicate the difference between them: comparatives compare two or more things, while superlatives express extremes.


Introduction to French Comparatives

Comparatives express relative superiority or inferiority; that is, that something is more or less than something else. In addition, comparatives can say that two things are equal. There are three types of comparatives, but four different French comparative adverbs:

1. Superiority:   plus... (de or que)   more... than, _____er than
   Laure est plus sportive (qu'Anne).
   Laure is more athletic (than Anne).

2. Inferiority:   moins... (de or que)   less.... than
   Rouen est moins cher (que Paris).
   Rouen is less expensive (than Paris).

3. Equality:
   a. aussi.... (de or que)   as... as
      Tu es aussi sympathique que Chantal.
      You're as nice as Chantal.
   b. autant (de or que)   as much/many as
      Je travaille autant qu'elle.
      I work as much as she does.

For detailed information about how to use comparatives, including whether to use de or que and the difference between aussi and autant, please see my lesson on French comparatives.


Introduction to French Superlatives

Superlatives express ultimate superiority or inferiority, claiming that one thing is the most or least of all. There are two types of French superlatives:

1. Superiority:   le plus   the most, the _____est
   C'est le livre le plus intéressant du monde.
   It's the most interesting book in the world.

2. Inferiority:   le moins   the least
   Nous avons acheté la voiture la moins chère.
   We bought the least expensive car.

For detailed information about superlatives, including word order and the use of articles, please see my lesson on French superlatives.
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