Basic comparisons with "bu bi"

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You might wonder why you have 不比 (bù bǐ) for negative comparisons when you already have 没有 (méiyǒu) for comparisons. The answer is that they're not exactly the same thing! 没有 should be your "go to word" for expressing "not as... as...," but there are cases where 不比 (in all of its subtle glory) is a better choice.

The Difference between 不比 and 没有

不比 and 没有 are not exactly the same. 没有 means "not as... as," whereas 不比 is a direct negation of , meaning "not more... than." Compare the following two English sentences:

  • You're not as smart as me. (没有)
  • You're not smarter than me. (不比)

You'd probably be more upset to hear the former from a friend than the latter. The two above sentences in Chinese are:

  • 没有 我 聪明 。I am definitely smarter than you; we're not equal in smarts.méiyǒu wǒ cōngming.You're not as smart as me.
  • 不 比 我 聪明 。You're no smarter than I am, but we might be equal in smarts.bùbǐ wǒ cōngming.You're no smarter than I am.

Basic Pattern with 不比


To say that something is not more adjective as another, you can use 不比 (bù bǐ). No snickering, please. This is similar to, but not exactly the same as comparing with 没有.

Noun 1 + 不比 + Noun 2 + Adj.


  • 不 比 我 差。bùbǐ wǒ chà.You're no worse than me.
  • 不 比 别人 笨 。bùbǐ biérén bèn.You're not dumber than anyone else.
  • 他 太太 的 工资 不 比 他 低 。Tā tàitai de gōngzī bùbǐ tā dī.His wife's salary is no lower than his is.
  • 上海 不 比 纽约 便宜 。Shànghǎi bùbǐ Niǔyuē piányi.Shanghai is no cheaper than New York .
  • 有人 觉得 养宠物 不 比 养 小孩 容易 。Yǒurén juéde yǎng chǒngwù bùbǐ yǎng xiǎohái róngyì.Some people think that it's no easier to raise a pet than to raise a child.

Pattern with 不比 and an Adjective


If it's more about the degree of an action, use this pattern below:

A + 不比 + B + Verb + 得 + Adj.

Note that "Verb + 得" can also placed before 不比.


  • 不 比 歌手 唱 得 差 。bùbǐ gēshǒu chàng de chà.You sing no worse than the singer does.
  • 他 算 得 不 比 计算机 慢 。Tā suàn de bùbǐ jìsuànjī màn.He calculates no slower than the computer.
  • 她 跳 得 不 比 明星 差 。Tā tiào de bùbǐ míngxīng chà.She dances no worse than a star.

See also

Note: don't confuse 不比 (bùbǐ) with 不必 (bùbì)!

Sources and further reading