Meilleur vs Mieux

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Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018

3 replies

Meilleur vs Mieux

I've checked this one using the Google translator and it agrees with me that the correct translation should be: Son copain est gentil mais le mien est meilleur (not mieux). Please explain.

This relates to:
Meilleur, mieux, pire / plus mauvais, plus mal = better, best, worse and worst (irregular comparatives and superlatives) -


Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018


This is a subtle point which has come up many times before on Q&A, so it might be a good idea to add a lesson or two on this (if Aurélie sees this).

Actually, both are correct, Glen. Their meaning is subtly different, though. Not much but a bit. Être is a verb describing a state of being and hence can take both, adjective and adverb. Let me elaborate.

Mon copain est mieux. Here the adverb relates to the verb être and says that my friend IS better.

Mon copain est meilleur. The adjective meilleur relates to "mon copain" and hence says that MY FRIEND is better, i.e., my friend, the person, is better.

Just mull these two ways of formulating the sentence over and meditate on them for a bit. There isn't much of a difference but there is some. Indon't know how to explain it any better, though.

-- Chris (not a native speaker).


Kwiziq community member

8 January 2018


Hi Chris, thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate it.

My take is that the comparative (in context) seems to refer to "gentil" in which case meilleur appears to be more appropriate. As an example, if (for clarity) I were to rewrite the english as "His friend is kind but mine is kinder", I would translate it as "son ami est gentil mais le mien est plus gentil."

I think that the distinction that you make is, perhaps, too subtle. Yes, some further direction and clarification from Aurélie would be useful.

Kind regards



Kwiziq language super star

15 March 2018


Hi both,

In the example you give Glen, i would agree that a comparative should be 'plus gentil' as meilleur or mieux in the answer is too vague. I feel like saying 'better in what way?'

Strictly speaking,

bon (adj.)  becomes meilleur


bien (adv.) becomes mieux .

Hope this helps!





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