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より (Than)

より (Than)

より (Than) Japanese Grammar Lesson

Grammar Type: Particle

Essential Meaning: Than / More X than Y

Construction: 

  • Noun + より
    • E.g. これより [Than this]
    • E.g. さかなより [Than fish]
  • Noun + であるより
    • E.g. 先生せんせいであるより [Than being a teacher]
  • (Verb / い-Adjective) informal nonpast + より
    • E.g. はなすより [Than speaking]
    • E.g. べるより [Than eating]
    • E.g. たかいより [Than being expensive]
  • な-Adjective Stem + なより
    • E.g. しずかなより [Than being quiet]

Notes:

  • より marks the standard of comparison in a comparative phrase. It takes the place of “Than” in a sentence such as “More X than Y“.
  • より is preceded by either a noun phrase or a sentence.
    • E.g. Preceded by a sentence: 図書館としょかん勉強べんきょうするほうがうちで勉強べんきょうするよりよくできる。[I’m better at studying at the library than studying at home.]
    • E.g. Preceded by a noun phrase: 漢字かんじ平仮名ひらがなよりむずかしい。[Kanji is more difficult than hiragana.]
  • Verbs that precede より are typically nonpast, but there are some idiomatic exceptions to this rule.
    • E.g. その試験しけんおもったよりやさしかった。[That test was easier than I expected.]
  • can optionally be appended to より to make the comparison more emphatic. One exception to this is that cannot be used with より in sentences that imply “There is no other way than X“.
    • E.g. 日本語にほんごはスペインより(も)おもしろい。[Japanese is more interesting than Spanish.]
    • E.g. これよりほかに方法ほうほうはない。[There is no other way than this.] も can’t be used in this case.
    • E.g. バスでいくより仕方しかたがない。[There is no other way than to go by bus.] も can’t be used in this case.

Example Sentences:

日本語にほんごはスペインよりおもしろい。[Japanese is more interesting than Spanish.]

くるまくのはバスでくよりやすい。[Going by car is cheaper than going by bus.]

わたし旅行りょこうするよりうちにいたい。[I’d rather stay home than travel.]

これよりほかに方法ほうほうはない。[There is no other way than this.]

バスでいくより仕方しかたがない。[There is no other way than to go by bus.]

漢字かんじ平仮名ひらがなよりむずかしい。[Kanji is more difficult than hiragana.]

はやしさんはわたしよりはやはしれる。[Hayashi-san can run faster than me.]

ぼくはステーキよりさかなほうきだ。[I like fish more than I like steak.]

図書館としょかん勉強べんきょうするほうがうちで勉強べんきょうするよりよくできる。[I’m better at studying at the library than studying at home.]

それはあかというより茶色ちゃいろちかかった。[That was closer to brown than to red.]

日本語にほんご勉強べんきょうしたかったら、アメリカの学校がっこう勉強べんきょうするより日本にほんきなさい。[If you want to study Japanese, go to Japan rather than going to an American school.]

WILD Examples:

At 1:03, listen for this line: 友達ともだちよりはやくエッチをしたいけどキスからさきすすめない [I want to have sex before my friends do, but I’m unable to go further than a kiss.] The basic meaning of this song is that the girls are curious about sex, but they decide it’s a waste to give away their virginities without first giving away their hearts.
Listen for this line at 0:40: でもだれよりだれよりもっている [However, I know it better than anyone else.]

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