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◎Difference between 「より」and「のほうが」


Do you enjoy learning Japanese?

Some people say “Japanese is one of the most difficult language to acquire.” 😱

This is based on a study for Americans so the difficulty was calculated by how different the language is from English.

I personally have learned Hungarian🇭🇺 which is also categorised as “Level 4 (out of 5) difficulty.”

However, from my point of view, the Hungarian is easier than English.😂

Then, I say 「ハンガリー語(ご)は、英語(えいご)より かんたんです。」(Hungarian is easier than English.)⚖️

But if somebody asks me that 「ハンガリー語と 英語と どちらが かんたんですか。」(Which is easier, Hungarian or English?),

then I answer 「ハンガリー語の ほうが かんたんです。」(Hungarian is easier.) not 「ハンガリー語(ご)は、英語(えいご)より かんたんです。」

Let me explain why.

The first reason is main focus of the sentences.

The statement「ハンガリー語(ご)は、英語(えいご)より かんたんです。」(Hungarian is easier than English.) has “Hungarian” as its topic, and add an information “is easier than English.”

The question 「ハンガリー語と 英語と どちらが かんたんですか。」(Which is easier, Hungarian or English?), in contrast, doesn’t have any specific focus but both ends of comparison, “Hungarian or English.”

So, the answer neither has specific topic and just mention one end of comparison with 「ハンガリー語の ほうが」.

The second reason is cultural tendency.

As Japanese people tend to avoid causing troubles, they don’t want to mention the comparison clearly.⚖️

In the latter, the question already includes a commitment that “we compare Hungarian and English,” so the answer omit the other side of comparison. 🤫

In fact, the expression of comparison is hidden in this sentence. If you want to show the comparison in the answer too, you can say 「ハンガリー語の ほうが (英語より) かんたんです。」(Hungarian is easier.)

And the first sentence must include the commitment of comparison because without the statement no one can know what is compared. 🤔

So, it should include the expression of comparison "よりも" and should be 「ハンガリー語(ご)は、英語(えいご)より かんたんです。」

The language and culture sometimes affect each other.

I hope we can explore the Japanese language and culture together in Tomo!😀



Tomo Japanese Language School

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