Making comparisons with verbs: plus que, autant que, moins que

Comparing actions using verbs (she runs more than you) is different from comparing qualities or things. 

Have a look:

Un footballeur gagne plus qu'un scientifique !
A footballer earns more than a scientist!

En général, mon fils lit moins que ma fille.
Usually, my son reads less than my daughter.

Ils voyagent autant que nous.
They travel as much as we do.

 

Note that to compare actions (verb [+ object]), you use comparative words as follows:

English French
[verb] more than   [verbe] plus que
[verb] less than [verbe] moins que
[verb] as much as [verbe] autant que 

Note that the comparing words never come before the verb:

you cannot say "Je plus mange que toi."

ATTENTION:

Sometimes, when the action includes verb + object (e.g. to play cards, to do the dishes), then the position of the comparing words can VARY:

it can be <verb> + <object> + plus/moins/autant que 

Blandine joue au tennis plus que toi.
Blandine plays tennis more than you.


Ma mère utilise l'ordinateur moins que moi.
My mother uses the computer less than I do.


Je fais la vaisselle autant que Thomas.
I do the dishes as much as Thomas.

or  <verb> + plus/moins/autant + <object> + que 

Blandine joue plus au tennis que toi.
Blandine plays tennis more than you.


Ma mère utilise moins l'ordinateur que moi.
My mother uses the computer less than I do.


Je fais autant la vaisselle que Thomas.
I do the dishes as much as Thomas.

 

Whereas in English, you will need to use a subject pronoun after than (...than I (do), you (do), he/she (does)...), in French you will once again use the stress pronoun after que (... que moi, toi, lui/elle, nous, vous, eux/elles). You will also never repeat the verb with (do/am/have) afterwards.

Julien mange plus que tu fais toi.
Julien eats more than you do.

 

See also other Comparative structures:

Plus... plus..., moins... moins... = the more...the more..., the less...the less... (comparisons with phrases)
Better and better, worse and worse = de mieux en mieux, de pire en pire (comparisons)
De plus en plus and de moins en moins = more and more and less and less (comparisons with adjectives, adverbs, verbs)
De plus en plus de and de moins en moins de = more and more and less and less (comparisons of nouns)
Making comparisons with adjectives: plus... que, aussi... que, moins... que
Making comparisons with adverbs: plus... que, aussi... que, moins... que
Making comparisons with nouns: plus de... que, moins de... que, autant de... que

And for Superlative forms, see:

Le, la, les plus and le, la, les moins = the most and the least (superlatives of adjectives)
Meilleur, mieux, pire / plus mauvais, plus mal = better, best, worse and worst (irregular comparatives and superlatives)
Le plus and le moins = the most and the least (superlative of adverbs)

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Ils voyagent autant que nous.
They travel as much as we do.


Blandine joue plus au tennis que toi.
Blandine plays tennis more than you.


Un footballeur gagne plus qu'un scientifique !
A footballer earns more than a scientist!


Blandine joue au tennis plus que toi.
Blandine plays tennis more than you.


En général, mon fils lit moins que ma fille.
Usually, my son reads less than my daughter.


Ma mère utilise l'ordinateur moins que moi.
My mother uses the computer less than I do.


Je fais autant la vaisselle que Thomas.
I do the dishes as much as Thomas.


Il dort plus que moi.
He sleeps more than I do.


Ma mère utilise moins l'ordinateur que moi.
My mother uses the computer less than I do.


Je fais la vaisselle autant que Thomas.
I do the dishes as much as Thomas.


Q&A

Marnie

Kwiziq community member

25 July 2018

3 replies

I’m going to avoid sentences like ‘je fais autant la vaisselle que Thomas ‘ because ther.

Marnie

Kwiziq community member

25 July 2018

25/07/18

because there’s a danger that I might confuse it with ‘autant de...que’...meaning ‘I do as many dishes as Thomas’!!

Chris

Kwiziq community member

26 July 2018

26/07/18

Hi Marnie,


I don't think the sentence "Je fais autant la vaisselle que Thomas." sounds right. It ought to be "Je fais la vaisselle autant que Thomas."


-- Chris (not a native speaker).

Marnie

Kwiziq community member

26 July 2018

26/07/18

The phrase that refer to is copied exactly from this website Chris.  It’s an example of an alternate way of expressing that idea.  I agree that it sounds awkward and was just pointing out in a ´joking’ Manner that I would never use it even if it is ´correct’.
Let me take a look at that...