Functional Arabic: Phrases for comparison like "more/less than"

Posted on Sun 27 March 2022 in Language

بِسْمِ ٱللَّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In the English language, comparisons to determine something over the other usually use the "scale of comparison" followed by the word 'than'.

These comparisons are used frequently in dialogue when evaluating things against each other.

In language terms, these concepts are known as: Superlative and Comparative

Four common examples are listed below:

  • I eat more food than you
  • I eat less food than you
  • This book is better than yours
  • This book is worse than yours

In Arabic, the word 'than' does not technically exist. The four examples listed above can be written in Arabic as such:

  • اَنا آكُلْ طَعامً أَكْثَرُ مِنْكَ
  • اَنا آكُلْ طَعامً أَقَلُُّ مِنْكَ
  • هذا الْكِتابُ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ كِتابِكَ
  • هذا الْكِتابُ أَسْوَأُُ مِنْ كِتابِكَ

The first thing to note is that the comparison comes after the object(مفعول). A word-for-word translation would be: I eat food more than you

In the second set of examples, the comparison explicitly requires an object(كتابك), whereas in English this is not required.

Lastly, the scale of comparison words (better, worse, more, less) are nouns(إسم).

For any errors, mistakes or corrections, please contact me via email. For discussion and comments you can reach me at my Mastodon handle.

If you don't know how to use RSS and want email updates on my new content, consider Joining my Newsletter

The original content of this blog is a Waqf solely for the Pleasure of Allah. You are hereby granted full permission to copy, download, distribute, publish and share this content without modification under condition that full attribution is given to this author by creating a link either above or below the content that links back to the original source of the content. For any questions or ambiguity, you are requested to contact me via email for clarification.