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Great than____

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Great than____

Postby Melrudin » Fri 06.03.2005 9:48 pm

I have a question about the sentence structure if you were saying that something is more___ than something else. On this site in the grammar
section, it uses the example:
私は犬より、猫のほうが好き。
Watashi ha inu yori, neko no hou ga suki.
(I like cats better than dogs)

However, I have a book on Japanese grammar and its example is:
ミシシッピがわはハド?#92;ンがわより長いです。
Mishishippigawa ha hadosongawa yori nagai desu.
(The Mississippi is longer than the Hudson)

The sentence structure is similar in each of them. They both use より for the one that is the lesser of the two (cats and the Hudson river). However, the former uses のほうが for the greater of the two (dogs), while the latter uses nothing.

Are both of these forms acceptable? Can のほうが be eliminated in some (or all) cases? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by Melrudin on Sat 06.04.2005 9:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: Great than____

Postby zengargoyle » Sat 06.04.2005 3:26 am

Melrudin wrote:
私は犬より、猫のほうが好き。
Watashi ha inu yori, neko no hou ga suki.

I dog-than(conj.), cat side/direction(subj.) like.

I think 「のほうが」 marks the prefered thing and sorta turns it
into something like the side of a coin.
i like cats (versus other things) instead of something like:
「ねこがすき」 i like the cat. or i like these cats.
「より」 can be a conjuntion meaning 'than'.

I like cats better than dogs.

ミシシッピがわはハド・#92;ンがわより長いです。
Mishishippigawa ha hadosongawa yori nagai desu.

mississippi river(topic) hudson river-than(conj.) long is.
or maybe...
mississippi river(topic) hudson river more(adv)-long is.

here I can't tell if 「より」 is the conjunction 'than' or if it's
being used as an adverb meaning 'more'.

either way, this isn't a preference but a fact about
specific rivers so there's no need for a 「のほう」 style
statement of preference.

The Mississippi river is more long (than) the Hudson river.
or maybe...
The Mississippi river is long(er) than the Hudson river.
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RE: Great than____

Postby Melrudin » Sat 06.04.2005 9:32 am

Thanks!

So のほう is only used for preference?
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RE: Great than____

Postby zengargoyle » Sat 06.04.2005 12:04 pm

like almost everything else ほう can mean many things.

倣 (ほう) (n) imitate; follow; emulate;
俸 (ほう) (n) salary;
報 (ほう) (n,n-suf) information; punishment; retribution; (P);
方 (ほう) (n-adv,n) side; direction; way; (P);
法 (ほう) (n,n-suf) Act (law: the X Act); (P);
砲 (ほう) (n,n-suf) gun; cannon; (P);
鳳 (ほう) (n) male phoenix bird;
剖 (ほう) (n) divide;

in my kanji input method 「ほう」 brings up about 90 different
kanji!

but i've only seen it mean method, side/direction, better/prefered than.

右 の 方 に 「みぎのほうに」 - on the right side.
こちら の ほう が、あちら より いい。 - this is better than that.

so i think of it as an indicator of direction of movement along a continuum.
A <--------------------------> B
B の 方 が VERB -- emphasizing VERB towards B.
B の 方 が A より VERB -- emphasizing VERB towards B vs towards A.
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