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.
The Difference between 不比 and 没有
- 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:
- 你 没有 我 聪明 。I am definitely smarter than you; we're not equal in smarts.You're not as smart as me.
- 你 不 比 我 聪明 。You're no smarter than I am, but we might be equal in smarts.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.
- 你 不 比 我 差。You're no worse than me.
- 你 不 比 别人 笨 。You're not dumber than anyone else.
- 他 太太 的 工资 不 比 他 低 。His wife's salary is no lower than his is.
- 上海 不 比 纽约 便宜 。Shanghai is no cheaper than New York .
- 有人 觉得 养宠物 不 比 养 小孩 容易 。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.
- 你 不 比 歌手 唱 得 差 。You sing no worse than the singer does.
- 他 算 得 不 比 计算机 慢 。He calculates no slower than the computer.
- 她 跳 得 不 比 明星 差 。She dances no worse than a star.
Note: don't confuse 不比 (bùbǐ) with 不必 (bùbì)!
Sources and further reading