April 20, 2012

Comparative Adjectives

Comparative adjectives compare the degree of some quality of some noun versus another noun.

Examples in English include “bigger”, “better”, “larger”, “smaller”, “worse”, etc. Some English comparative adjectives are formed with the adverb “more” – “more wonderful”, “more fun”, etc.

Comparative Adjectives in Hindi

Most adjectives in Hindi do not have corresponding comparative forms. Instead, Hindi employs a grammatical construct involving the postposition से and the positive form of the adjective.

Basic Form

The general form is:

subject + object + से + (ज्यादा/और/कम) + positive adjective

This construction by default (without ज्यादा, और, or कम) indicates that the the subject of comparison possesses the quality of the adjective to a greater extent than the object of comparison.

Examples

यह किताब उस किताब से महँगी है – “This book is more expensive than that book”

तुम उससे लम्बे हो – “You are taller than him”

मैं नितिन से छोटा हूँ – “I am (smaller/shorter/younger) than Nitin”

The postposition से is similar to the English word “than” since both words indicate the object of comparison. The Hindi comparative construction could be literally rendered as “You are tall than him”, etc. This is awkward in English, however, which requires the comparative form of the adjective in addition to the word “than”.

ज्यादा, और, and कम

The adjectives ज्यादा (“more”) and कम (“less”) may be used with से to explicitly indicate greater or lesser degree, respectively. The adjective और (“more”) may be used to indicate greater degree also.

Examples

नितिन अमित से ज्यादा लम्बा है – “Nitin is taller than Amit”

वह साड़ी इस साड़ी से कम महँगी है – “That sari is less expensive than this sari”

भारत नेपाल से और बड़ा है – “India is larger than Nepal”

Without an Adjective – Excessive Degree

ज्यादा and कम may be used without any specific object of comparison. When used in this manner, they indicate excessive degrees.

ये साड़ियाँ ज्यादा महँगी लगती हैं - “These saris seem too expensive”

नमक बहुत कम है – “There is very little salt (on the food)”

दस रूपये ज्यादा हैं; मैं तुमको चार रूपये दूंगा – “Ten rupees is too much; I will give you four rupees”

  • Katka Látalová

    Namaste :) I´ve found this website very useful and very well arranged. It seems to me I´m going to spend there lots of time. And I´m really looking forward to it :) I like your sense of system – I think I can find there everything I´ll need. I´ve just gone through the Learning-hindi.com and it seems to me that you are explaining things into much more details. Hope I can
    understand and “absorb” everything I find now ;)

    Sorry to bother you right from the start, but I want to ask on one thing. Shouldn´t there be the plural number of the verb “honaa”, at the end? “वह साड़ी इस साड़ी से कम महँगी है”

    Have a nice day ;)

    • http://hindilanguage.info/ hindilanguage.info

      Hi, Katka! :) I’m so glad that you’ve found this website useful. If any information that you are interested in is missing, incomplete, or confusing, please let me know. You’re right, this website is intended to be detailed and systematic. You’re not bothering me at all, I encourage you to ask questions. The sentence “वह साड़ी इस साड़ी से कम महँगी है” is correct. The subject of the verb (है) is साड़ी. It is singular (there is just one sari), so the verb is singular too. Just as we wouldn’t say “that sari are less expensive than this sari” in English, we would not use the plural हैं in Hindi. Does that make sense? Please let me know if you have any other questions, and welcome!

      • Katka Látalová

        Hi again :) Now I look at it and I see I´ve copied a wrong sentence – it should be this one: “ये साड़ियाँ ज्यादा महँगी लगती है” And of course I agree with the previous one :) Just a silly mistake, I´m sorry for that confusion.

        • http://hindilanguage.info/ hindilanguage.info

          Ah, yes, there is a typographical error in that sentence. I will correct it. Thanks!