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Comparisons with "buru"

不如 (bùrú) can be used to make comparisons in a similar way as the 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.

Simple Pattern

Structure

A + 不如 + B

Examples

  • 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.

Advanced Pattern

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:

Structure

A + 不如 + B + Adj.

A + Verb + 得 + 不如 + B + Adj.

A + Verb-Obj. + 不如 + B+ (Verb + 得) + Adj.

Examples

  • 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.

Examples

  • 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."

See also

Sources and further reading

Books