Making comparisons with adjectives: plus... que, aussi... que, moins... que

Comparing characteristics using adjectives (He is taller/shorter... than her) is different from comparing actions or things. 

Have a look at the sentences:

Jean est plus petit que son frère
John is shorter/younger than his brother

Mon père reste moins compréhensif que ma mère.
My father is still less understanding than my mother.

Marie est aussi timide que sa mère
Marie is as shy as her mother

Note that to compare adjectives (nice, big, ...), you use comparative words as follows:

English French

more [adjective] than
[adjective]-er than

plus [adjectif] que
less [adjective] than moins [adjectif] que
as [adjective] as aussi [adjectif] que

The adjective needs to agree in gender and number with the noun it refers to:

Aurélie est plus grande que Marie.
Aurélie is taller than Marie.

Les hommes sont moins patients que les femmes.
Men are less patient than women.

Mes soeurs sont aussi paresseuses que moi.
My sisters are as lazy as I.

 

Whereas in English, you will need to use a subject pronoun after than (... than I (do), you (do), he/she (does)...), in French you will once again use the stress pronoun after que (... que moi, toi, lui/elle, nous, vous, eux/elles). You will also never repeat the verb with (do/am/have) afterwards.

Alice est plus grande que je suis moi.
Alice is taller than I am.

 

See also other Comparative structures:

Plus... plus..., moins... moins... = the more...the more..., the less...the less... (comparisons with phrases)
Better and better, worse and worse = de mieux en mieux, de pire en pire (comparisons)
De plus en plus and de moins en moins = more and more and less and less (comparisons with adjectives, adverbs, verbs)
De plus en plus de and de moins en moins de = more and more and less and less (comparisons of nouns)
Making comparisons with nouns: plus de... que, moins de... que, autant de... que
Making comparisons with adverbs: plus... que, aussi... que, moins... que
Making comparisons with verbs: plus que, autant que, moins que

And for Superlative forms, see:

Le, la, les plus and le, la, les moins = the most and the least (superlatives of adjectives)
Meilleur, mieux, pire / plus mauvais, plus mal = better, best, worse and worst (irregular comparatives and superlatives)
Le plus and le moins = the most and the least (superlative of adverbs)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Les hommes sont moins patients que les femmes.
Men are less patient than women.


Aurélie est plus grande que Marie.
Aurélie is taller than Marie.


Comparisons: Plus ... que (video by a green mouse)


Mon père reste moins compréhensif que ma mère.
My father is still less understanding than my mother.


Jean est plus petit que son frère
John is shorter/younger than his brother


Mes soeurs sont aussi paresseuses que moi.
My sisters are as lazy as I.


Marie est aussi timide que sa mère
Marie is as shy as her mother


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