A Quick Guide to French Comparatives

Learn French comparatives for adjectives, adverbs, and nouns.

Start learning for free

I want to learn...

In English when comparing adjectives, nouns, or adverbs, you state how two things relate to each other. So you would say “Most dogs are bigger than cats”, “This car is worse than that car”, or “This chocolate costs as much as that one.”

In French, you have three levels of comparison: superior, inferior, and equal.

Master using French comparatives like a pro!

french comparatives

When it comes to learning French comparatives, nothing else compares with Busuu’s free online courses! Try learning more today, and use them in your daily conversations!!

French comparatives: 3 levels of comparison

Let’s have a look at the three levels of comparison. Superior comparative adjectives show that one thing is more than another. Conversely, inferior comparative adjectives are used to express that one element is less than another. And equal comparative adjectives indicate that two things are equal to each other.

Comparative adjectives

Comparative adjectives need to agree with the number and gender of the noun.

The form is as presented below:

  • plus + adjectif + que (more than)
  • moins + adjectif + que (less than)
  • aussi + adjectif + que (as…as)

The formation of comparative adjective sentences in French are as follows:

  • Superior: plus…que(more…than/___er than)
  • Inferior: moins…que (less…than)
  • Equal: aussi…que (as much/as many)

Taking the three examples of English sentences above, when written in French, they would be:

  • La plupart des chiens sont plus gros que les chats. (Most dogs are bigger than cats.)
  • Cette maison est moins peinte que cette maison. (This house is painted less than that house.)
  • Ce chocolat est aussi bon que celui-là. (This chocolate tastes as good as that one.)

Comparative adverbs

While comparatives can be used with adjectives as demonstrated above, they can also be used with adverbs. An adverb is a word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, other adverb, or a whole sentence.

The form used for this is as shown below:

  • plus + adverbe + que (more than)
  • moins + adverbe + que (less than)
  • aussi + adverbe + que (as...as)

For example:

  • Les lièvres courent plus vite que les tortues. (Hares run faster than turtles.)
  • Les rats rugissent moins fort que les lions. (Rats roar less loudly than lions.)
  • Le héron vole aussi furtivement que l'aigle. (The heron flies as stealthily as the eagle.)

Comparative nouns

When it comes to comparative nouns, sentences using these nouns must use de in addition to que when the word following is a noun or a number.

Let’s look at the form below:

  • plus de + noun + que (more than)

  • moins de + noun + que (less than)

  • autant de + noun + que (as much/as many)

  • For example:

  • Cette maison a plus de pièces que cette maison. (This house has more rooms than that house.)

  • Il y a moins d'élèves dans cette classe que dans celle-là. (There are less students in this classroom than that one.)

  • Cette maison comporte autant de pièces que de fenêtres. (This house has as many rooms as windows.)

Tip: Now that you are learning French, a great way to practice is to work on speaking the language, especially writing and pronunciation. Take a look at our French pronunciation guide: 5 things you need to know.

Some words in French have irregular comparative forms.

Become fluent in French today!

french comparatives

Fall in love with French learning with Busuu's free online courses and grammar reviews! You’ll be speaking fluent French in no time guaranteed!

Irregular French comparatives

Positive Meaning Comparative Meaning
bon good meilleur better
mauvais bad pire worse
petit little moindre lesser
bien good mieux better

Bon is an adjective and modifies the noun. Bien on the other hand is an adverb and can be used as such with “state-of-being” verbs like être.

It is important here to note that there are different ways to say “better than”. When attaching the word to a verb, it should be written as mieux. When attaching it to a noun, it should be written as meilleur.

To say, “well”, meilleur que needs to be attached to the noun. To say “good”, mieux que needs to be attached to the verb.

Comparatives are easy to learn. Just remember to practice using comparatives in everyday situations. Engage in conversations, and explore French media (like French TV series or movies on Netflix) to deepen your understanding.

The more you practice, the more you will master the use of French comparatives.

Say “Oui” to more French learning!

Learn more French grammar and vocabulary with Busuu’s free online courses and join a community of native French speakers today!