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Basic comparisons with "bu bi"

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.

Structure

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.

Examples

  • 不 比 别人 笨 。You're as smart as other people.
  • 他 太太 的 工资 不 比 他 低 。His wife's salary is as high as his salary.
  • 上海不 比 纽约 便宜 。It's as expensive to live in Shanghai as it is in New York .
  • 有人 觉得 养宠物 不 比 养 小孩 容易 。Some people think that it's not easier to have a pet than to have a baby.

If it's 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 。You sing as well as a singer does.
  • 他 算 得 不 比 计算机 慢 。His calculation is as fast as the computer.

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.
  • 不 比 我 聪明 。You're no smarter than I am, but we might be equal in smarts.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books