Más que/Menos que vs Más de/Menos de (More/Less than)

In Spanish there are two ways to say "More/less than":

1. Using DE

Más de = More than

Menos de = Less/Fewer than

These forms will be used when we talk about quantities.

Have a look and listen to the following examples:

Tengo más de diez caramelos en mi bolso.
I have more than ten sweets in my handbag.

He tardado menos de una hora en llegar.
It took me less than one hour to get here.

2. Using QUE

Más que = More than

Menos que = Less/Fewer than

These forms will be used when we talk about comparisons.

Have a look and listen to the following examples:

Hoy he comido más que ayer.
Today I ate more than yesterday.

Elisa fuma menos que tú.
Elisa smokes less than you.

See also Using más/menos for more/less/fewer as adjectives, pronouns and adverbs

 

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Elisa fuma menos que tú.
Elisa smokes less than you.


Tengo más de diez caramelos en mi bolso.
I have more than ten sweets in my handbag.


He tardado menos de una hora en llegar.
It took me less than one hour to get here.


Hoy he comido más que ayer.
Today I ate more than yesterday.


Q&A Forum 1 question, 2 answers

SherriA1Kwiziq community member

más que vs. más de

In a textbook a sentence was given as:

“ Es muy gordo; come más que dos hombres ordinaries.”

My question is why is it not más de because of the “dos” being a quantitative factor.  Is it a comparison?

Asked 3 days ago
InmaKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Hola Sherri,

Yes, exactly. Although there is a number after que, it is expressing a comparison. He is comparing that man's eating to that of two men together. See how this would not work if we change the que for a "de":

"Es muy gordo; come más de dos hombres ordinarios." 

This wouldn't make sense because it'd mean that he eats more than two men. 

This other one would make for sense with "de":

"Es muy gordo; come más de dos kilos de patatas fritas cada semana."

(He is very fat; he eats more than 2 kilos of fries every week.)

I understand though, that finding this kind of sentence you found could be a bit confusing so I will add a note to the lesson.

I hope that helps.

Un saludo 

Inma

SherriA1Kwiziq community member

Thank for your explanation, Inma.

más que vs. más de

In a textbook a sentence was given as:

“ Es muy gordo; come más que dos hombres ordinaries.”

My question is why is it not más de because of the “dos” being a quantitative factor.  Is it a comparison?

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