Irregular Comparatives in Spanish Adjectives and Adverbs
Irregular comparatives in Spanish are a super easy topic to learn and to teach!
Usually, students dread any type of irregularities. But there’s no need to fear. Irregularities help us to draw grammar boundaries, and getting to know them prepares us for every possible situation in a Spanish conversation.
What’s more, irregular comparative adjectives and adverbs are such a small group that it will take you about 10 minutes to learn all of them—the length of time you’ll spend reading this article.
Let’s not lose our precious minutes and get started right away!
Adjectives and Adverbs in Spanish
First, let’s go through the basics; then we’ll focus on the topic at hand: irregular comparatives in Spanish.
What’s the difference between adjectives and adverbs?
Both are parts of speech, but adjectives modify and describe nouns, whereas adverbs modify and describe verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.
Here are a few examples of Spanish adjectives:
- negro/a – black
- pequeño/a – small
- interesante – interesting
- nervioso/a – nervous
Es un chico interesante pero muy nervioso.
He’s an interesting guy but very nervous.
Necesito una cartera negra.
I need a black purse.
Here are some examples of Spanish adverbs:
- bien – well
- rápido/a – quickly
- mal – badly
- muy – very
Juan limpia rápido pero muy mal.
Juan cleans quickly but very poorly.
Me siento bien.
I feel well.
When you want to compare things, to say that something is more or less than something, or how something is done, you’ll use comparatives and superlatives.
Regular comparative forms are easy to learn and apply. Just use the following formula:
To say that something is more:
Más + adjective/adverb + que
To say that something is less:
Menos + adjective/adverb + que
Remember that the adjective needs to match the noun in gender and number!
Juan está más nervioso que yo.
Juan is more nervous than I am.
Este libro es más interesante que la película.
This book is more interesting than the movie.
Las hormigas son más pequeñas que las abejas.
Antes are smaller than bees.
Pedro corre más rápido que su hermano.
Pedro runs faster than his brother.
If you want to spend more time reviewing regular comparatives, check out Spanish Grammar: Comparatives and Superlatives in Spanish.
Irregular Comparatives in Spanish
I dare say that irregular comparatives are even easier than regular ones. You don’t need to use the word más or menos. You just need to remember a couple of specific words.
Let’s take a look at all the irregular comparative forms of adjectives and adverbs and how and when you use irregular comparatives in Spanish.
Irregular Comparative Adjectives in Spanish
There are just four Spanish irregular comparative adjective forms that you can use with 6 adjectives. I told you, it’s an easy grammar topic to master.
Just to clarify, you may also use the regular forms with grande, pequeño, joven, and viejo so don’t be surprised to see and hear más grande, más pequeño, más joven, más viejo.
The irregular comparatives don’t have to agree in gender with the noun but they still do have to agree in number.
Él es mejor que yo.
He is better than me.
Ellas son mejores que nosotros.
They are better than us.
Example Sentences in Spanish
Let’s see a bit more of the irregular comparative adjectives in sentences:
Este pastel es mejor que el de ayer.
This cake is better than the one from yesterday.
Este examen no puede ser peor que el anterior.
This test can’t be worse than the last one.
Es un error mayor que el mío.
It’s a bigger mistake than mine.
La cantidad es menor que la que calculaste.
The amount is smaller than the one you calculated.
Él es menor que yo.
He’s younger than me.
Mi madre es mayor que mi tía.
My mother is older than my aunt.
Ustedes son mejores que ellos.
You’re better than them.
Irregular Comparative Adverbs in Spanish
There are just four irregular comparative adverb forms in Spanish!
Example Sentences in Spanish
Do you want to see some examples? Here are some sentences with irregular comparative adverbs.
Ana come mucho pero Inés come más que ella.
Ana eats a lot, but Inés eats more than her.
Mi hermano duerme poco pero yo duermo aún menos que él.
My brother sleeps little, but I sleep even less than him.
María nada bien pero yo nado mejor.
Maria swims well, but I swim better.
Salí mal en el examen y hasta peor que el año pasado.
I did badly on the exam and even worse than last year.
Practice Irregular Comparatives in Spanish
You see! I told you that irregular comparatives in Spanish are not a topic that will give you a headache. Learning Spanish at a beginner level is satisfying. You can advance quickly to a higher level. Like you just did with the topic of irregular comparatives in Spanish.
However, if you’re seriously thinking about reaching fluency in Spanish and becoming fully bilingual, you need to be motivated at times. It’s challenging but doable.
It’s a long road to becoming fully bilingual and that’s why it’s so important not to lose sight of your ultimate goal. Take a minute and write down why you want to be fluent in Spanish. To travel easily across Spanish-speaking countries? To earn more money? To talk to your Spanish-speaking neighbors? Whatever you choose, write your goal down and hang it in a visible place. It will motivate you to study with regularity,
Sign up for a free trial class at Homeschool Spanish Academy. Let our friendly and professional teachers from Guatemala help you reach your fluency goals and practice irregular comparatives in Spanish in a 1-to-1 conversation! Check out our affordable pricing and flexible programs!
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