Grammar Info
N5 Lesson 8: 11/13

To be more ~ than ~

Verb (A) + より + Verb (B) + 方 +

[い]Adjective (A) + より + [い]Adjective (B) + 方 +

[な]Adjective (A) + + より + [な]Adjective (B) + + 方 +

Noun (A) + より + Noun (B) + + +
Part of Speech Expression
Register Standard
品詞 表現
単語の種類 形容詞・形容動詞
使用域 一般
より~のほうが can be thought of as similar to the grammar points たほうがいい, and ないほうがいい, in that it expresses that one thing is the ‘better (A)’, or ‘more (A)’. However, unlike ほうがいい based expressions, any pair of adjectives, verbs, or nouns may be compared in this construction, so long as のほうが is followed by an adjective.
より translates roughly to ‘than’, or ‘rather than’ in this phrase.
  • 田舎(いなか)住(す)より、都会(とかい)の方(ほう)がいい
    I like living in the city more than the countryside.
  • 彼女(かのじょ)より、私(わたし)の方(ほう)が背(せ)高(たか)
    I am taller than my girlfriend.
  • 映画(えいが)怖(こわ)より、面白(おもしろ)方(ほう)が好(す)き
    I like funny movies more than scary movies.
From the examples listed here, we can see that より will always appear after the word that has the lower extent of (A), when used together with のほうが.
When より is used by itself, or when it is not linked directly to the previous word, it can seem like it has the opposite meaning. However, in these cases, のほうが just remains unsaid.
  • これより高(たか)
    This is more expensive. (Compared to other things in general)
In this example, because the より is after , not before これ, it is easy to assume that これ is the thing that is lower. However, this behaves in the same way as のほうが, meaning that これ itself is the more expensive thing, with より just being used like ‘relatively’ (compared to many other things).
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That bread is more delicious than this bread.
I like soccer more than basketball.
Ryuto is smarter than Yuki.
Genki I
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Genki I 2nd Edition
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Marugoto Elementary 2 (A2) Rikai
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みんなの日本語 I
Page 80 [CH 12]
[DBJG] A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
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Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Guide
Page 268