Forming comparative adjectives mayor/menor/mejor/peor

The following comparative adjectives that end in -or/ -ior have the same form for masculine and feminine singular:

Mayor (bigger/older) 

Menor (smaller/younger)

Mejor (better)

Peor (worse)

Inferior (inferior/lower)

Superior (superior/higher)

Have a look and listen to the following examples:

Mi hijo mayor estudia en Oxford.
My eldest son studies in Oxford.

Mi hija mayor estudia en Salamanca.
My eldest daughter studies in Salamanca.

El móvil de Darío funciona mejor que mi móvil.
Darío's mobile works better than mine.

La situación es peor ahora.
The situation is worse now.

Su hermano menor quiere una bicicleta.
Her younger brother wants a bike.

Su hermana menor quiere un novio.
Her younger sister wants a boyfriend.

Este producto es de una calidad inferior.
This product is of inferior quality.

El examen es para un nivel superior de inglés.
The exam is for a higher level of English.

Plural form

To form the plural of these adjectives add -es.

This applies to masculine and feminine.

Mayor → mayores

Menor → menores

Mejor → mejores

Peor → peores

Superior → superiores

Inferior → inferiores

Here are more examples, this time in plural:

Javier y Gerardo son mayores que Luis.
Javier and Gerardo are older than Luis.

Las niñas de Alicia son menores que mis niñas.
Alicia's girls are younger than mine.

Hemos tenido mejores vacaciones.
We've had better holidays.

Vosotras sois peores que ellos.
You are worse than them.

Las ventas fueron superiores a los costes.
The sales were higher than the expenses.

Los costes fueron inferiores a las ventas.
The expenses were lower than the sales.

Note: Not all adjectives that end in -r follow the same rule.

See also:

Additional note:

  • When using the adjectives inferior and superior in comparative sentences, the preposition used is "a".

Los costes fueron inferiores a las ventas.
Los costes fueron inferiores que las ventas.

  • However, when using the adjectives mayor and menor, we use "que".

Los costes fueron menores que las ventas.
Los costes fueron menores a las ventas.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Este producto es de una calidad inferior.
This product is of inferior quality.


Los costes fueron inferiores a las ventas.
The expenses were lower than the sales.


Javier y Gerardo son mayores que Luis.
Javier and Gerardo are older than Luis.


Su hermana menor quiere un novio.
Her younger sister wants a boyfriend.


Las ventas fueron superiores a los costes.
The sales were higher than the expenses.


La situación es peor ahora.
The situation is worse now.


Su hermano menor quiere una bicicleta.
Her younger brother wants a bike.


Vosotras sois peores que ellos.
You are worse than them.


El móvil de Darío funciona mejor que mi móvil.
Darío's mobile works better than mine.


Mi hijo mayor estudia en Oxford.
My eldest son studies in Oxford.


Hemos tenido mejores vacaciones.
We've had better holidays.


El examen es para un nivel superior de inglés.
The exam is for a higher level of English.


Mi hija mayor estudia en Salamanca.
My eldest daughter studies in Salamanca.


Las niñas de Alicia son menores que mis niñas.
Alicia's girls are younger than mine.


Q&A

Amy

Kwiziq community member

21 November 2018

2 replies

Why is the preposition 'a' is used with this comparison?

I noticed these two sentences used the preposition 'a' instead of 'que' in these sentences. Is there a reason why? 

Las ventas fueron superiores a los costes.

The sales were higher than the expenses.

Los costes fueron inferiores a las ventas.

The expenses were lower than the sales.

Inma

Kwiziq language super star

22 November 2018

22/11/18

Hola Amy

With adjectives "inferior" and "superior" used in a comparative sentence we use preposition "a", not "que". 

However, with adjectives "menor" and "mayor", despite meaning pretty much the same as the previous ones,  we need to use "que", not "a".

I hope this helps.

Inma

Amy

Kwiziq community member

22 November 2018

22/11/18

Thanks! I just wanted to know the specific times it is used, as it wasn't mentioned in the lesson :)
Thinking...