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Comparativos de Igualdad (Spanish Comparisons of Equality)

When we want to compare two or more things which have equal characteristics (Equality Comparison), we use asas.
For example:
Your cat is as old as mine.

To express this type of comparison, we have used: asas.

How do we form comparisons of equality in Spanish? It is fairly simple; in fact we have to ways to express equality comparisons:

    tan… como (as…as)

    and

    tanto… como (as much/as many… as)

Note that in Spanish, the structure used to build equality comparisons depends on the nature of the word it is related with. So, we have to know that:

tan… como is used with adjectives and adverbs and tanto… como is used with nouns and verbs.


Tan … como is used with adjectives and adverbs.

Here we have some examples:

    Tan + adjective + como:

    Tu hermano es tan alto como mi hermana
    (Your brother is as tall as my sister)

    Ese edificio es tan grande como la Torre Eiffel
    (That building is as big as the Eiffel Tower)

As you can see, the examples above show the use of tan…como with the adjectives "alto" and "grande".

But tan…como can also be used with adverbs:
    Tan + adverb + como:

    Conduzco tan despacio como (yo) puedo.
    (I drive as slowly as I can)

    Tu casa está tan cerca como la mía.
    (Your house is as near as mine)


Tanto … como is used with nouns and verbs.
    Tanto + noun + como:

    Remember that "tanto" must agree in genre and number with the noun it qualifies. According to this, we'll use:

    • Tanto + noun + como (with masculine singular nouns)

      El tiene tanto miedo como yo.
      (He is as scared as I am)

      (In this example, you can see that although in Spanish the expression is "Tener miedo", in English we say "To be scared". "Miedo" is a masculine noun (substantive) in Spanish and in English "scared" is an adjective.)


    • Tanta + noun + como (with feminine singular nouns)

      Él bebe tanta leche como tú.
      (He drinks as much milk as you do)


    • Tantos + noun + como (with masculine plural nouns)

      Tenemos tantos libros como Juan y María.
      (We have as many books as John and Mary)


    • Tantas + noun + como (with feminine plural nouns)

      Nosotros comemos tantas manzanas como (nosotros) podemos.
      (We eat as many apples as we can.)

And finally, let's review how to compare actions (verbs) in Spanish:
    Verb + tanto + como:

    Mi hija estudia tanto como puede.
    (My daughter studies as much as she can.)

As a final point, the flashcard above will help you remember the different structures used to build comparisons of equality:

Adjectives and Adverbs: tan ... como
Nouns: tanto ... como
tanta ... como
tantos ... como
tantas ... como
Verbs tanto ... como


For any question or doubt, feel free to e-mail me or just post a message at the forum.

¡Que tenga un buen día!
Angeles F.



VOCABULARY IN THIS LESSON (alphabetical order):

alto (m): tall
bebe / Beber: he drinks / To drink
casa (f): house
cerca : near, close
comemos / Comer: we eat / To eat
conduzco / Conducir : I drive / To drive
despacio : slowly
edificio (m): building
estudia / Estudiar : he/she studies / To study
grande (m/f): big
hermana (f): sister
hermano (m): brother
hija (f): daughter
la mía (f): mine
leche (f): milk
libros (m): books
manzanas (f): apples
mi : my
miedo (m): fear
puedo / Poder: I can
tener miedo: to be scared
torre (f): tower



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I write monthly articles for "Think Spanish" ("Piensa en español") since 2002. All "Think Spanish" articles are written in Spanish, and they include a Spanish/English glossary. You'll also have the option to buy this magazine including a CD. Nice way to learn about Spanish language and customs!

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This content was written by Angeles Fernández. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Angeles Fernández for details.



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