Comparisons with "buru"
不如 (bùrú) can be used to make comparisons in a similar way as the 比 structure. In its simplest form 不如 is used to convey that A is 'not as good as' B. Unlike the 比 structure, when used in this way, the adjective or verb can be omitted.
A + 不如 + B
- 我 哥 的 成绩 不如 我 。My elder brother's .
- 看 电影 不如 看 原著 。Watching the movie isn't as good as reading the book.
- 他 总是 觉得 自己 不如 别人 。He always thinks he's not as good as other people.
When an adjective or verb is added to the structure it can then be used to mean A is not as 'adjective' as B, or A does not 'verb' as well as B:
A + 不如 + B + Adj.
A + Verb + 得 + 不如 + B + Adj.
A + Verb-Obj. + 不如 + B+ (Verb + 得) + Adj.
- 这 件 裙子 不如 那 件 好看 。This dress doesn't look as good as that one.
- 那个 说法 不如 这个 说法 实用 。This saying isn't as practical as that one.
- 他 穿 得 不如 你 好看 。He doesn't dress as well as you do.
- 我 担心 我 解释 得 不如 你 清楚 。I'm afraid that I can't explain as clearly as you do.
- 他 说 中文 不如 他 老婆 说 得 地道 。He doesn't speak Chinese as authentically as his wife does.
- 我 打字 不如 你 打 得 快 。I don't type as fast as you do.
不如 as an Adverb
When facing a choice, 不如 can also be used to mean "might as well" to emphasize the choice is the better of two options. When used like this, it is similar in meaning to 不妨.
- 在 家 看 电视 多 无聊 ！不如 去 KTV 吧 。 , might as well .
- 我们 在 这里 等 也 是 浪费 时间 ，不如 先 去 吃 个 饭 吧 。It's a waste of time for us to wait here.We might as well go out and eat something first.
- 与其 空想，不如 马上 行动 。Rather than fantasizing, you might as well take action right away.
- 与其 天天 吵架 ，不如 离婚 。Rather than fighting each and every day, you might as well break up.
As in the last two example sentences, 不如 often occurs in the 与其...不如 structure, meaning "rather than X... might as well Y."
- Basic comparisons with "bu bi"
- Basic comparisons with "meiyou"
- Comparing Specifically with "xiang"
Sources and further reading
- A Practical Chinese Grammar For Foreigners (外国人实用汉语语法) (pp. 543-7) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Boya Chinese Lower Intermediate 1 (博雅汉语准中级加速篇) (pp. 38-9) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 (pp. 89) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Short-term Spoken Chinese: Elementary (汉语口语速成基础篇) (pp. 80-1) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy