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Expressing "even more" with "geng" or "hai"

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When used in a comparison, 更 (gèng) or 还 (hái) expresses an even higher degree of the adjective.

For example, New York is America's biggest city with a population of more than 8 million. Shanghai is China's biggest city, with a population of more than 20 million. “上海比纽约人口更/还多” emphasizes that New York already has a high population (already known situation), but Shanghai's population is obviously higher.


Structure

Noun 1 + 比 + Noun 2 + 更 / 还 + Adj.

Examples

  • 我 妹妹 瘦 。Wǒ mèimei gèng shòu.My younger sister is even thinner than me.
  • 我 的 猫 我 的 狗 淘气 。Wǒ de māo wǒ de gǒu gèng táoqì.My cat is even more naughty than my dog.
  • 有时候 动物 人类 聪明 。Yǒushíhou dòngwù rénlèi gèng cōngming.Sometimes animals are even smarter than human beings.
  • 大城市 的 工作 机会 我老家 多 。Dàchéngshì de gōngzuò jīhuì wǒ lǎojiā gèng duō.There are more job opportunities in big cities than in my hometown.
  • 姚明 高 。 Yáo Míng hái gāo.He is even taller than Yao Ming.
  • 昨天 38 度 ,今天 昨天 热 。Zuótiān sān shí bā dù, jīntiān zuótiān hái rè.It was 38 degrees yesterday, and it's even hotter today.
  • 这个 老外 的 汉语 说 得 中国人 地道 。Zhège lǎowài de Hànyǔ shuō de Zhōngguó rén hái dìdao.This foreigner speaks even more authentic Chinese than native speakers do.

还 has a more intense tone, and it usually carries a tone of surprise and skepticism. Therefore, using the form of a rhetorical question with 还 can be understood as "how can it be?" Note that 更 cannot be used in an interrogative tone.

  • 老板 忙 ? lǎobǎn hái máng?You're even busier than the boss?
  • 老板 忙 ? lǎobǎn gèng máng?You're even busier than the boss?

Also note that 更 can be used with 了 in this pattern, indicating change of situation or state, while 还 can't be used in this way.

  • 这个 地方 以前 热闹 Zhège dìfang yǐqián gèng rènao le.This place is even more lively than before.
  • 这个 地方 以前 热闹 Zhège dìfang yǐqián hái rènao le.This place is even more lively than before.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books