Chinese grammar:Basic comparisons with 不比bu bi

Often Chinese speakers will say something (or someone!) is not as good/strong/smart as something else. This is one the grammar patterns they use.

To say that something is not more adjective as another, you can use 不比 (bù bǐ). No snickering, please.


This is similar to, but not exactly the same as comparing with 没有.


Wǒ bú bǐ nǐ fān yì dé hǎo.
我 不 比 你 翻译 得 好。
I don’t translate as well as you do.

The Difference between 不比 and 没有 
不比 and 没有 are not exactly the same. 没有 means "not as… as," wheras 不比 is a direct negation of 比, meaning "not more… than." Compare the following two English sentences:

You’re not as smart as me. (没有)
You’re not smarter than me. (不比)

You’d probably be more upset to hear the former from a friend than the latter. The two above sentences in Chinese are:

Nǐ méi yǒu wǒ cōnɡ mínɡ.
你 没有 我 聪明。
(I am definitely smarter than you; we’re not equal in smarts.)

Nǐ bù bǐ wǒ cōnɡ mínɡ.
你 不 比 我 聪明。
(You’re no smarter than I am, but we might be equal in smarts.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *