Meilleur, mieux, pire / plus mauvais, plus mal = better, best, worse and worst (irregular comparatives and superlatives)

Knowing when to use mieux and meilleur (better) can be tricky in French because we only have one form in English. It can seem even more complex to say the best, but here's what you need to remember in a nutshell:

- Meilleur/meilleure is the comparative form of the adjective bon/bonne
- Mieux is the comparative form of the adverb bien.

Therefore, whenever you would use bon/bonne (good), you'll use meilleur/e, and whenever you would use bien, you'll use mieux!

When to use bon/bonne (adjective) and therefore meilleur

In French, you'll use the adjective bon and its comparative meilleur when:

1.

qualifying something as good/better/the best for a usage, or good/better/the best in taste (food):

Tu préfères le chocolat ou la vanille ?
- La vanille, c'est bon, mais le chocolat, c'est meilleur !

Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?
- Vanilla is good, but chocolate is better!

Ces bonbons sont meilleurs que les tiens: ce sont les meilleurs du monde.
These sweets are better than yours: they are the best in the world.

Quel est le meilleur aspirateur?
Which is the best vacuum cleaner?

C'est la meilleure idée que tu aies jamais eue!
It's the best idea you've ever had!

2.

qualifying someone as a good/better/the best person or good/better/the best at something:

Ces deux-là sont les meilleures amies du monde !
These two are the best friends in the world!

Je suis bon en maths, mais il est meilleur en maths que moi.
I'm good at maths, but he is better at maths than me.

Je suis le meilleur de ma classe.
I'm the best in my class.

These forms come from:

- bon/bonne (good) -> meilleur/e (better) -> le/la meilleur/e (the best)
- bons / bonnes  -> meilleurs / meilleures  ->  les meilleurs / les meilleures

 

When to use bien (adverb) and therefore mieux

In French, you'll use the adverb bien and its comparative mieux when:

1.

making a general statement with être about something or someone being fine/OK/better/the best:

C'est bien d'y aller à pied, mais c'est mieux de prendre le bus.
It's fine to walk there, but it's better to take the bus.

Et si je le mets comme ça ? - Oui, c'est mieux.
And if I put it like this? - Yes, that's better.

Ta télé est bien mais la mienne est mieux.
Your TV is fine but mine is better.

Tu préfères courir ou nager?
- Nager, c'est mieux!

Do you prefer running or swimming?
- Swimming, it's better!

 

2. 

talking about an action (verb) being done well/better/the best: 

Laquelle de ces bouilloires marche le mieux?
Which of these kettles works the best?

De tous mes amis, tu es celui qui dessine le mieux.
Of all my friends, you're the one who draws the best.

Je cours bien, mais il court mieux que moi.
I run well, but he runs better than me.

Lady Gaga chante mieux que Lana Del Rey.
Lady Gaga sings better than Lana Del Rey.

These forms come from:

bien (well) -> mieux (better) -> le mieux (the best)

 

The negative cases are a bit different: 

- Plus mauvais(e) is the comparative form of the adjective mauvais/mauvaise;
Plus mal is the comparative form of the adverb mal
and
- Pire applies both to mauvais(e), and to general statements with être.

 

When to use pire or plus mauvais/e (adjective)

In French, you'll use the adjective mauvais and its comparative pire/plus mauvais when:

1.

qualifying something as bad/worse/the worst for a usage, or bad/worse/the worst in taste (food):

Ton accent est mauvais, mais mon accent est pire que le tien.
Your accent is bad, but my accent is worse than yours.

Ton accent est mauvais, mais mon accent est plus mauvais que le tien.
Your accent is bad, but my accent is worse than yours.

Ces voitures sont les pires du monde. 
Ces voitures sont les plus mauvaises du monde.

These cars are the worst in the world.

Ses résultats sont plus mauvais que l'année dernière.
His results are worse than last year.

Ses résultats sont pires que l'année dernière.
His results are worse than last year.

2.

qualifying someone as a bad/worse/the worstperson or bad/worse/the worst at something:

Clarisse est la plus mauvaise élève de ma classe.
Clarisse is the worst pupil in my class.

Matt et Sylvain sont les pires élèves de la classe.
Matt and Sylvain are the worst students in the class.

Béatrice est plus mauvaise en français que moi.
Beatrice is worse at French than I am.

Béatrice est pire en français que moi.
Beatrice is worse at French than I am.

ATTENTION:

You can never use plus pire, as pire already contains the idea of more

These forms come from: 

mauvais/e (bad) -> pire  /  plus mauvais/e  (worse)
                      -> le/la pire    /   le/la plus mauvais/e   (the worst)

pires / mauvais / mauvaises  ->  les pires / les plus mauvais / les plus mauvaises

   

When to use plus mal  (adverb)

In French, you'll use the adverb mal/plus mal when: 

talking about an action (verb) being done badly/worse/the worst: 

Pierre joue mal, mais Louis joue encore plus mal que lui.
Pierre plays badly, but Louis plays even more badly than him. 

De toute l'équipe, c'est Karl qui danse le plus mal.
Out of the whole team, Karl is the one who dances the worst.

These forms come from:

mal (badly) -> plus mal (more badly / worse) -> le plus mal (the worst)

 

When to use pire in general statements  (adverb)

In French, you'll use the adverb pire when:

making a general statement with être about something or someone being bad/worse/the worst:

C'est moins douloureux comme ça ? - Non, c'est pire !
Is it less painful like this? - No, it's worse!

C'est difficile de parler, mais c'est pire de se taire.
It's hard to talk, but it's worse to stay quiet.

Baptiste est mon pire ennemi.
Baptiste is my worst enemy.

 

 

For other Superlative forms, see:

Le, la, les plus and le, la, les moins = the most and the least (superlatives of adjectives)
Le plus and le moins = the most and the least (superlative of adverbs)

And for 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 verbs: plus que, autant que, moins que
Making comparisons with nouns: plus de... que, moins de... que, autant de... que 

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

Je cours bien, mais il court mieux que moi.
I run well, but he runs better than me.


Je suis le meilleur de ma classe.
I'm the best in my class.


C'est moins douloureux comme ça ? - Non, c'est pire !
Is it less painful like this? - No, it's worse!



Ton accent est mauvais, mais mon accent est pire que le tien.
Your accent is bad, but my accent is worse than yours.


Clarisse est la plus mauvaise élève de ma classe.
Clarisse is the worst pupil in my class.


Ces voitures sont les pires du monde. 
Ces voitures sont les plus mauvaises du monde.

These cars are the worst in the world.


Ton accent est mauvais, mais mon accent est plus mauvais que le tien.
Your accent is bad, but my accent is worse than yours.


De tous mes amis, tu es celui qui dessine le mieux.
Of all my friends, you're the one who draws the best.


Matt et Sylvain sont les pires élèves de la classe.
Matt and Sylvain are the worst students in the class.


Ta télé est bien mais la mienne est mieux.
Your TV is fine but mine is better.


Ces bonbons sont meilleurs que les tiens: ce sont les meilleurs du monde.
These sweets are better than yours: they are the best in the world.


Ses résultats sont plus mauvais que l'année dernière.
His results are worse than last year.


Ces deux-là sont les meilleures amies du monde !
These two are the best friends in the world!


Ses résultats sont pires que l'année dernière.
His results are worse than last year.


C'est la meilleure idée que tu aies jamais eue!
It's the best idea you've ever had!


C'est bien d'y aller à pied, mais c'est mieux de prendre le bus.
It's fine to walk there, but it's better to take the bus.


Quel est le meilleur aspirateur?
Which is the best vacuum cleaner?


Baptiste est mon pire ennemi.
Baptiste is my worst enemy.


C'est le pire examen du monde.
It's the worst exam in the world.


Tu préfères courir ou nager?
- Nager, c'est mieux!

Do you prefer running or swimming?
- Swimming, it's better!


Tu préfères le chocolat ou la vanille ?
- La vanille, c'est bon, mais le chocolat, c'est meilleur !

Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?
- Vanilla is good, but chocolate is better!


Lady Gaga chante mieux que Lana Del Rey.
Lady Gaga sings better than Lana Del Rey.


Et si je le mets comme ça ? - Oui, c'est mieux.
And if I put it like this? - Yes, that's better.


De toute l'équipe, c'est Karl qui danse le plus mal.
Out of the whole team, Karl is the one who dances the worst.


Béatrice est pire en français que moi.
Beatrice is worse at French than I am.


Je suis bon en maths, mais il est meilleur en maths que moi.
I'm good at maths, but he is better at maths than me.


Laquelle de ces bouilloires marche le mieux?
Which of these kettles works the best?


C'est difficile de parler, mais c'est pire de se taire.
It's hard to talk, but it's worse to stay quiet.


Cette soupe est meilleure que la précédente.
This soup is better than the previous one.


"Superlatives" by Jacqueline Doiron (FrenchByPhone.com)


Pierre joue mal, mais Louis joue encore plus mal que lui.
Pierre plays badly, but Louis plays even more badly than him. 


Béatrice est plus mauvaise en français que moi.
Beatrice is worse at French than I am.


Q&A Forum 34 questions, 91 answers

'pire' AND 'plus mauvais/e' (adjective). Are they interchangeable in all situations?

Some textbook said pire is for abstract noun while mauvais/e is for concrete noun

Asked 3 months ago
ChrisC1Correct answer

Hi Joan, it seems that pire is the safer choice.

Check here for a bit more backgroung on this: https://french.stackexchange.com/questions/1722/the-differences-between-plus-mauvais-and-pire

'pire' AND 'plus mauvais/e' (adjective). Are they interchangeable in all situations?

Some textbook said pire is for abstract noun while mauvais/e is for concrete noun

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Too Long!!!

This exercise is far far too long - I get distracted and bored and then I start over another day and the same thing happens.  It is now my third week of it and I have not passed Point 1.

It needs to be broken up into different lessons!  It makes me very annoyed and it is off putting to continue...

Asked 3 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super star

This has been flagged up, Patty and we are working on it....

PB2

I disagree. This information all belongs together and is better learnt together. If you have spent three weeks trying to get passed point 1, without managing to understand it why do you think you'll manage it if it's split as a separate lesson? If you're getting "distracted and bored" maybe the issue isn't with the lesson...

PB2

I disagree. This information all belongs together and is better learnt together. If you have spent three weeks trying to get passed point 1, without managing to understand it why do you think you'll manage it if it's split as a separate lesson? If you're getting "distracted and bored" maybe the issue isn't with the lesson...

Too Long!!!

This exercise is far far too long - I get distracted and bored and then I start over another day and the same thing happens.  It is now my third week of it and I have not passed Point 1.

It needs to be broken up into different lessons!  It makes me very annoyed and it is off putting to continue...

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I also agree - this lesson should be split up - too much to take in at once

Asked 5 months ago

I also agree - this lesson should be split up - too much to take in at once

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This lesson should be broken down into several. It is too much.

Asked 7 months ago

I completely agree. The negative forms could be a separate lesson.

Totally, it's too much information at a time.

This lesson should be broken down into several. It is too much.

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Doubt in meilleur/ meilleure

Bonjour Cécile,

In the lesson, a sentence has been given 

"La vanille,c'est bon,mais le chocolat,c'est meilleur."

If the sentence is inversed,as-

"Le chocolat,c'est bon,mais la vanille,c'est meilleure."

Would in this case "meilleur" be used or "meilleure"?

Please explain the reason behind it also.

Merci d'avance.

Asked 8 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Varsha,

It is because of 'c'est' -

If you take a look at the following lesson -

https://french.kwiziq.com/revision/grammar/adjectives-following-cest-are-always-masculine

You will see that 'c'est' is always followed by a masculine form.

Hope this helps!

Merci Madame.

Really thankful.

Doubt in meilleur/ meilleure

Bonjour Cécile,

In the lesson, a sentence has been given 

"La vanille,c'est bon,mais le chocolat,c'est meilleur."

If the sentence is inversed,as-

"Le chocolat,c'est bon,mais la vanille,c'est meilleure."

Would in this case "meilleur" be used or "meilleure"?

Please explain the reason behind it also.

Merci d'avance.

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Doubt in comparative form of 'bien'

Bonjour Madame,

In the sentence given in the lesson as

"Ta téle est bien mais la mienne est mieux"

In this sentence although the comparative form of 'bien' has been used but then also ' que' has not been used;though here 'mieux'  is I think has been used as an adjective.

Mam,Pls guide the reason behind not writing 'que'

Thanks 

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Varsha, 

In the example you give, you could add a 'que...' and say:

Ta télé est bien mais la mienne est mieux (que la tienne).

but it is superfluous and makes the sentence rather heavy in my opinion.

Hope this answers your query!

Merci beaucoup Madame

Doubt in comparative form of 'bien'

Bonjour Madame,

In the sentence given in the lesson as

"Ta téle est bien mais la mienne est mieux"

In this sentence although the comparative form of 'bien' has been used but then also ' que' has not been used;though here 'mieux'  is I think has been used as an adjective.

Mam,Pls guide the reason behind not writing 'que'

Thanks 

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Doubt in comparative form of 'bien'.

Bonjour Madame,

In the sentence given in the lesson as

"Ta téle est bien mais la mienne est mieux"

In this sentence although the comparative form of 'bien' has been used but then also ' que' has not been used;though here 'mieux'  is I think has been used as an adjective.

Mam,Pls guide the reason behind not writing 'que'

Thanks 

Asked 9 months ago

Hi Varsha,

you can either say:

Ta télé est mieux que la mienne. -- Your TV is better than mine. Or
Ta télé est bien mais la mienne est mieux. -- Your TV is good but mine is better.

-- Chris.

Doubt in comparative form of 'bien'.

Bonjour Madame,

In the sentence given in the lesson as

"Ta téle est bien mais la mienne est mieux"

In this sentence although the comparative form of 'bien' has been used but then also ' que' has not been used;though here 'mieux'  is I think has been used as an adjective.

Mam,Pls guide the reason behind not writing 'que'

Thanks 

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Bonjour - can someone take a look at this and advise if correct?

Ma mère est bien.  Mais je crois que mon père est généralement mieux que ma mère, parce qu’il a une bonne disposition.  

Vous nagez très bien.  En fait, je pense que vous nagez peut-être mieux que tous les autres.  Vous nagez le mieux, il n’y a aucune question à propos de ça. 

Merci d'avance.

Asked 9 months ago

Bonjour - can someone take a look at this and advise if correct?

Ma mère est bien.  Mais je crois que mon père est généralement mieux que ma mère, parce qu’il a une bonne disposition.  

Vous nagez très bien.  En fait, je pense que vous nagez peut-être mieux que tous les autres.  Vous nagez le mieux, il n’y a aucune question à propos de ça. 

Merci d'avance.

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This is an enormous lesson! Could it be broken down into several more manageable, (for me), lessons?

Asked 9 months ago
I was thinking the same thing!! Like maybe one for better and one for worse....

This is an enormous lesson! Could it be broken down into several more manageable, (for me), lessons?

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Should it not be la mieux?

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Varsha,

You cannot say:

"Laquelle de ces  bouilloires  marchent  la mieux" ,  it is, le mieux , because of the verb 'marcher':

'le mieux' is an adverb as it modifies the verb 'marcher'.

You might say/ hear:

C'est la chanteuse la mieux payée au monde entier  = She is the best paid singer in the whole world

or 

C'est la banque la mieux représentée en Angleterre = This is the bank best represented in England

as here,  la mieux 

modifies the adjective and can agree with the noun although some purists would dispute this and say that it is better French to use 'le mieux' also in both those examples

But you will hear both...

Hope this helps!

CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Joan, 

you would say -

'.... la mienne est mieux'

Thanks a lot Ma'am

Really grateful 

It is difficult to differentiate between 'being' good/better/the best AND good/better/the best 'for a usage'. For example: can we say 'Ta télé est bien mais la mienne est meilleure' if we refer to the television's usage?

Should it not be la mieux?

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Laquelle de ces bouilloires marche le mieux?

Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer
Answered ...

Laquelle de ces bouilloires marche le mieux?

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Bon-bien etc...Love this discussion

Excellent example of the great design of the teaching/learning structure in Progress with LF.  All these different approaches to the linguistic thought process result in "understanding why" rather than remembering (or trying to remember!)
Asked 9 months ago
CécileKwiziq language super star
Merci bien! Marnie...

Bon-bien etc...Love this discussion

Excellent example of the great design of the teaching/learning structure in Progress with LF.  All these different approaches to the linguistic thought process result in "understanding why" rather than remembering (or trying to remember!)

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Can pire be used in the feminine form, e.g. Marie est la pire?

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi James, 

Yes you could say 'la pire' in the case of feminine nouns.

C'est la pire des choses = It's the worst of things

C'est la pire erreur jamais faite = It's the worst mistake ever made

C'est la pire décision de ma vie = It's the worst decision of my life

Hope this helps!

Many thanks. The feminine example was not demonstrated in the tutorial.

Can pire be used in the feminine form, e.g. Marie est la pire?

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DB1

Vacuum and kettle ??

Quel est le meilleur aspirateur? is a usage  ( non action )

where as Laquelle de ces bouilloires marche le mieux?  uses a verb action ?  i.e the kettle works  ?   

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

HI D,

If I have understood your question correctly, your query is why we use 'mieux' in the case of the kettle example?

'mieux' follows the verb marcher and is the comparative form of the adverb 'bien'.

bon ----meilleur

bien----mieux

e.g.

C'est une bonne bouilloire mais celle-ci marche mieux.

Hope this helps!

Vacuum and kettle ??

Quel est le meilleur aspirateur? is a usage  ( non action )

where as Laquelle de ces bouilloires marche le mieux?  uses a verb action ?  i.e the kettle works  ?   

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ChristinaC1

bien et mieux in this sentence

I just don't understand why this sentence uses an adverb, rather than an adjective :

Ta télé est bien, mais la mienne est mieux. 
I would think it'd use : Ta télé est bonne, mais la mienne est meilleure. 

Thank you for your explanation!

Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Christina,

'Bien' and 'Bon' have lots of different meanings in French and you will find multiple columns devoted to them in dictionaries depending on their particular meanings.

In this case, 'bien' is actually an adjective ( I know, wierd!). It is used to mean 'pleasing' as good/fine. e.g.

Ce tableau est bien.

Ce film est bien.

OR when speaking of a person:

"C'est un homme bien" = "He is a good man "( in a moral sense).

or "Il est bien, ton ami "= meaning, "He is good-looking, your friend."

In the case of a tv , if you said, "la télé est bonne", it sounds really odd in French and you can almost think that you have tried to eat it ...

You can say - "C'est une bonne télé." (meaning it works well, fulfills its role as a tv...)

I know it's confusing but hope this helps!

Hi Christina, I believe this question has been asked and explained several times. You should find answers among the posts underneath the corresponding lesson. 

-- Chris. 

I have all the same questions as Christina and many others here, and I've read all the answer over and over again, but I still don't get it. It seems to be absolutely random and just something you have to learn by feeling with time. 
I think that was a very well explained answer Cecil. Merci beaucoup!
Merci Cecile, ton reponse est tres bien! 
I'm with Arndis on this... really beginning to hate just how inutilement compliquée French is! :-(
Christina asked:View original

bien et mieux in this sentence

I just don't understand why this sentence uses an adverb, rather than an adjective :

Ta télé est bien, mais la mienne est mieux. 
I would think it'd use : Ta télé est bonne, mais la mienne est meilleure. 

Thank you for your explanation!

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Word order of jamais " ever "

Whenever I have jamais as in ever after a verb (like in, " que tu aies jamais eue! " the French spellcheck tries to correct it to add a ne to make jamais mean never. So I thought you had to put jamais right after the subject pronoun (" si jamais je le trouve. ") This isn't the case here, though, so that's confusing.
Asked 1 year ago
GruffKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Grammar checkers are, unfortunately, still very unreliable. You can't trust them I'm afraid. The same goes for software translation. They're getting better every year but don't rely on them to learn grammar!

More info here:
https://french.kwiziq.com/french-grammar-checkers

So was I right or not? Do you put " ever " before the verb? You're ignoring my question.

Also, grammar checkers have done a LOT to help me do stuff like remember which genders words are and to make adjectives agree in gender with the nouns right and sometimes they correct the tense for me and all that other stuff, so you're not giving them enough credit for beginners here.

GruffKwiziq language super star

So long as you cross check whatever the grammar checker is telling you and don't just trust that it's true, they can be useful. The issue is people assuming they're "authoritative" sources when in reality they're often completely wrong or misleading.

You're right though, I did forget to answer the actual question. :)

Jamais meaning "ever" can go in various places in sentences.

"Si jamais..." (If ever...) is a very common expression. You could also say "Si je jamais..." but it's much less common.

Other useful expression:

"... que jamais" (...than ever) after a comparative.

"...à jamais" (... for ever)

"...à tout jamais" (for ever and ever).

Hope that helps.

Thank you. Cross-checking every single time ever when the grammar checker underlines something sounds really annoying, though. It mostly underlines mistakes I made that I didn't notice that I knew better to not do like not agreeing in gender and number or it tells me what's the Imperfect Subjunctive when I'm completely at a loss. I say it's about as useful as the English grammar checker, at the very least.

Word order of jamais " ever "

Whenever I have jamais as in ever after a verb (like in, " que tu aies jamais eue! " the French spellcheck tries to correct it to add a ne to make jamais mean never. So I thought you had to put jamais right after the subject pronoun (" si jamais je le trouve. ") This isn't the case here, though, so that's confusing.

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Comparatives/Superlatives - Bon/Bien/Meilleur/Mieux etc

this is one of the most difficult exercises for me to understand - whilst I read all your examples over and over, I still cannot grasp the usage - It is possible to have a quiz on just this exercise? With lots of questions and either fill in the blanks or complete the sentence with own text? I need BOOT CAMP on this. cheers Dragana
Asked 1 year ago
Hi Dragana, you are definitely not alone on this. While the topic is too large to answer here in the forum, I definitely think that it would benefit from more and more specific lessons and exercises. I hope someone from kwiziq is going to take notice, because there have been many questions about this topic. -- Chris.

Comparatives/Superlatives - Bon/Bien/Meilleur/Mieux etc

this is one of the most difficult exercises for me to understand - whilst I read all your examples over and over, I still cannot grasp the usage - It is possible to have a quiz on just this exercise? With lots of questions and either fill in the blanks or complete the sentence with own text? I need BOOT CAMP on this. cheers Dragana

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Meilleur vs Mieux

I've checked this one using the Google translator and it agrees with me that the correct translation should be: Son copain est gentil mais le mien est meilleur (not mieux). Please explain.
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi both,

In the example you give Glen, i would agree that a comparative should be 'plus gentil' as meilleur or mieux in the answer is too vague. I feel like saying 'better in what way?'

Strictly speaking,

bon (adj.)  becomes meilleur

and

bien (adv.) becomes mieux .

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

 

This is a subtle point which has come up many times before on Q&A, so it might be a good idea to add a lesson or two on this (if Aurélie sees this). Actually, both are correct, Glen. Their meaning is subtly different, though. Not much but a bit. Être is a verb describing a state of being and hence can take both, adjective and adverb. Let me elaborate. Mon copain est mieux. Here the adverb relates to the verb être and says that my friend IS better. Mon copain est meilleur. The adjective meilleur relates to "mon copain" and hence says that MY FRIEND is better, i.e., my friend, the person, is better. Just mull these two ways of formulating the sentence over and meditate on them for a bit. There isn't much of a difference but there is some. Indon't know how to explain it any better, though. -- Chris (not a native speaker).
Hi Chris, thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate it. My take is that the comparative (in context) seems to refer to "gentil" in which case meilleur appears to be more appropriate. As an example, if (for clarity) I were to rewrite the english as "His friend is kind but mine is kinder", I would translate it as "son ami est gentil mais le mien est plus gentil." I think that the distinction that you make is, perhaps, too subtle. Yes, some further direction and clarification from Aurélie would be useful. Kind regards Glen

Meilleur vs Mieux

I've checked this one using the Google translator and it agrees with me that the correct translation should be: Son copain est gentil mais le mien est meilleur (not mieux). Please explain.

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Will it be correct to use " ma télé est bonne mais la tienne est meilleure"

Asked 1 year ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Richa ! Yes, you could also use "bonne/meilleure" here, it would be a more specific comment on how good, i.e. functional, your TV is, rather than an all-encompassing comment :) Bonne journée !
Merci Aurélie!

Will it be correct to use " ma télé est bonne mais la tienne est meilleure"

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Similar question.

Ta télé est bien. télé is a noun, why not say "ta télé est bonne"?
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Rene,

Technically in this example, 'ta télé est bien' is correct as 'bien' follows the verb 'to be' and therefore is correct.

You wouldn't say 'ta télé est bonne' but you might say: 'C'est une bonne télé'.

Hope this helps!

RonC1
Here is the explanation from the lesson: «When to use bien (adverb) and therefore mieux In French, you'll use the adverb bien and its comparative mieux when: - making a general statement with être about something or someone being fine/OK/better/the best: Example: Ta télé est bien mais la mienne est mieux. --> Your TV is fine but mine is better. I hope that helps.
Knowing when to use bien and when to use bon canbe confusion sometimes. With verbs that describe a state of being such as "être" the use of "bien" is favored. It wouldn't be entirely wrong to use "bon" but it means something different: La télé is bien. -- The TV is good. La télé est bonne. The TV is a good one. -- Chris. P.S.: Laura on her site has a valuable lesson on that: https://www.thoughtco.com/bon-vs-bien-1368817
ChristinaC1
Hmmm...In all my years of French language learning I never learned that "bien" rather than "bon" must follow être. 

It is not a must. C'est bon is also correct but carries a slightly different meaning. In the example of the tv, la télé est bonne, however, does sound weird.

-- Chris. 

Similar question.

Ta télé est bien. télé is a noun, why not say "ta télé est bonne"?

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C'est bon vs est bonne

The example says "la vanille, c'est bonne". why not "la vanille est bonne"? Especially since the ext sentence says "ces bonbons sont bons".
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi Rene,

Hoping this might clarify things a bit and I can understand your frustation...

After 'C'est' , always use the masculine form of the adjective:

c'est bon, c'est grand, c'est petit, c'est important ...

regardless of what you are talking about.

Another way of saying you like something is to use the construction: 

le chocolat, c'est bon,

les fraises, c'est bon,

la vanille, c'est bon,

regardless of gender etc..

but if you talk of a particular item and you want to say it is  tasty , you may say:

les fraises des bois sont bonnes 

le sel de Guérande est bon

la vanille de Madagascar est bonne ...

and then the adjective will agree with the noun it refers to.

Hope this helps!

 

RonC1
Bonjour Rene, The gender agreement is always masculine when using «c'est». Here is the note from the lesson: «ATTENTION: when using il/elle, you have to make adjectives agree accordingly, whereas you always use the masculine with c'est. » And here is the lesson: C'est vs il/elle est: Saying it is Bonne chance, Ron
Merci Ron. I understand the theory, I re-read the other lesson BUT I still have my 2 original doubts: 1. The example says " la vanille, c'est bon". Why not "la vanille est bonne"? 2. The next example says "ces bonbons sont bons". Why not "'ces bonbons, c'est bon" ? What determines the use of 'c'est + masculine-ending-adjective' and "il/elle bon/bonne"? Thank you.
In other words: if I read "la vanille, c'est bon" or "la vanille est bonne", I know roughly what it means (I understand the basic concept). I SIMPLY DON'T KNOW when to use "la vanille, c'est bon" and "la vanille est bonne"
RonC1
Masculine gender agreement ONLY follows the use of «c'est», hence la vanille, c'est bon (not bonne). Ces bonbons is not the same as saying c'est and bonbon is a masculine noun. Let me find another site resource for you: Here is one of my favorites: http://laits.utexas.edu/tex/gr/pro3.html (I do not like to recommend sites outside of Kwiziq but at times, another perspective can open the door to understanding). Anyway, this site is from the Univ. of Texas at Austin French department and one of my French profs actually recommended it to me. The lesson is followed by quiz questions so one can test their knowledge. As for your second post, the use of «c'est» follows this general rule or pattern; assuming you are a native English speaker: The house, it is pretty --> In this phrase, the subject is «house» then the pronoun «it» is used in the phrase «it is pretty». However, in French it would look like this: La maison, c'est joli. (this is just for an example) While «maison» is the subject and a noun, in the phrase that become c'est joli, again with masculine gender agreement following «c'est» as per the grammar rule. I understand when you say «I SIMPLY DON'T KNOW when to use "la vanille, c'est bon" and "la vanille est bonne"», but pronouns function in French much like they do in English, i.e. a noun is replaced by a pronoun. Bonne chance et bonne continuation, Ron
Ron, merci beacoup pour l'explication et le lien. I am still hung up on "la vanille, c'est bon" and "la vanille est bonne". When I read French, I realize that French people have TWO WAYS of saying "vanilla is good". In English, I have only one way of saying it: "vanilla is good". So, if I want to say that in French, what rule or thought process do I use to choose? If I want to say "vanilla is good". First I have to add "la" -> "la vanille". What do I do next? How do I choose between "la vanille est bonne"(which seems easy for me) or the more complicated form "la vanille, c'est bon" ?
RonC1
I think that you are trying to compare apples and oranges, here's my reasoning: 1) la vanille, c'est bon 2) la vanille est bonne These are two entirely different locutions -- «la vanille est bonne» is a simple statement saying that the vanilla is good, there is no use of the pronoun-phrase c'est, while in the phrase «la vanille, c'est bon» is a little more complex, i.e. the vanilla has been mentioned in the discussion previously. Example: I like vanilla --> J'aime la vanille. Then, during the course of the discussion the other person states, Ah, vanilla, yes it is good --> Ah, la vanille, oui, c'est bon. This same scenario could also be used with other feminin nouns, i.e.une maison, une chaise, la gardienne, etc. The grammar rule applies ONLY when the «fixed phrase c'est» is used . I hope this clarifies this for you since I don't know any other ways of explaining it. Should you have further questions, I shall defer to Aurélie for those. Best wishes, Ron
Ron, merci encore une fois. I'm still hung up. "Tu aimes la vanille? Oui, c'est bon" I accept it "by faith, it's a French thing" even though I don't understand. "la vanille, c'est bon" seems different to me.. I wish I could understand it, but if it's too difficult, then I'll just move on. French is just my hobby. I don't need to know it perfectly. Aurelie, could you help?
RonC1
Bien sûr, bonne chance et bonne continuation.
Vanilla is good. -- La vanille est bonne. Vanilla, it's good. -- La vanille, c'est bon. As Ron pointed out, the subject of the clause is "vanilla" in the first case and "ce" (as in c'est) in the second case. Hence the adjective takes on the female form "bonne" in the first sentence since it agrees with vanilla. In the second sentance it is in the male form "bon" because you have to agree it with "ce". -- Chris (not a native speaker).
Merci Chris. I still don't understand when I should CHOOSE to write "la vanille est bonne" or "la vanille, c'est bon" That's okay. I'm moving on.. French is my hobby, I don't need to write it perfectly! Thanks for all the grammar (male/female explanations). Too bad no one can explain to me: French use "la vanille, c'est bon" ... (this is what I am missing) They use "la vanille est bonne"..... I'll never know the answer. Lemme see... WHEN do I use one or the other? Maybe it's a mystery... I'll go ponder the meaning of life. :)
The question is a stylistic one, not a grammatical one. The French often use this kind of repetition of the subject: La vanilla c'est bon. -- Vanilla vs. ce Moi je ne viens pas. -- Moi vs. je Anne est-elle à la maison? -- Anne vs. elle All different situations, to be sure, but it gives you a hint as to which construction is favored. Don't fret it, just roll with it. -- Chris.
Merci.

Hello Cécile, merci pour votre réponse. 

Can o assume the, that the ce construction is play for general statements? Ex : ma soeur aime bien la vanille. Ah oui, (la vanille, ) c'est bon: oh yes, it's good (here vanilla is a general thing). 

But more definite things require the other construction! la vanille de Madagascar est bonne. J'aime beaucoup les fraises des bois sont bonnes. Elles sont très bonnes. En fait, elles sont délicieuses !

Another example: general: J'aime beaucoup le musique. C'est passionant. La pizza, c'est délicieux.

Definite : la musique classique est passionante. La pizza de Chez Luigi est délicieuse. 

Est-ce que je suis en train de comprendre ce sujet ?

:) 

Lots of typos in my reply... sorry..  mon poche téléphone est affreux !
CécileKwiziq language super star

Hi Rene , 

I think you've cracked it ... well done! :-)

C'est bon vs est bonne

The example says "la vanille, c'est bonne". why not "la vanille est bonne"? Especially since the ext sentence says "ces bonbons sont bons".

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Why "bien" is used to describe certain nouns (instead of an adjective).....

When one is expressing satisfaction with something, "bien" is used. Ce film est bien.... C'est bien, je suis heureuse avec cela.
Asked 1 year ago
RonC1
Bonsoir Leah, «Ce film s'est très bien passé» I was satisfied with the film, it went well. «Ce film m'a plu bien» I was satisfied with the film, it pleased me. Would you please provide the source for the information you gave? Merci en avance.
Bonjour Ron, I found it by googling.... https://frenchtogether.com/bien-bon/ Best, leah
Don't forget that "bien" has acquired also some other meanings apart from being the adverb of the adjective "bon/bonne". It also means, e.g., "many" as in: "Il y a bien des gens." -- There are many people. Or "Je te souhaite bien des choses." -- I wish you all the best. Then, in conjunction with the verb "être", both options bien and bon are frequently possible and connote a slightly different meaning. Il est bien -- He is good. Because the adverb "bien" refers to the verb "être". Il est bon. -- He is a good guy/person/athlete/etc. Here the "bon" refers to a substantive which must be inferred from context. Another example. Suppose you are invited to a family dinner and, after the meal, you make a compliment and say either: C'était bien. -- It was good (in the sense that the cooking was great, hence the adverb). C'était bon. -- It was good (in the sense that "it" refers to the meal, i.e., the meal was good). I hope this helps to clarify this sometimes confusing issue a bit. -- Chris (not a native speaker).
Merci beaucoup, Chris!

Why "bien" is used to describe certain nouns (instead of an adjective).....

When one is expressing satisfaction with something, "bien" is used. Ce film est bien.... C'est bien, je suis heureuse avec cela.

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Are people and food described with bon..meilleur (adjectives); other nouns take bien...mieux?

Am so confused. Can anyone help? Cette maison est bien? Une bonne maison? Ma meilleure amie....
Asked 1 year ago
RonC1
Bonsoir Leah, Assuming that your langue maternal is English, the same rules for the use of adjective and adverb apply in French, i.e. adjective modifies a noun or pronoun while an adverb modifies a verb, adjective or other adverb. So, keeping this in mind let's look at a couple of lessons points: When to use bon/bonne (ADJECTIVE) and therefore meilleur In French, you'll use the adjective bon and its comparative meilleur when: 1) - qualifying something as good/better/the best for a usage, or good/better/the best in taste (food) 2) - qualifying someone as a good/better/the best person or good/better/the best at something When to use bien (ADVERB) and therefore mieux In French, you'll use the adverb bien and its comparative mieux when: 1) - making a general statement with être about something or someone being fine/OK/better/the best: 2) - talking about an action (verb) being done well/better/the best There are other grammar rules that cover this, but these are the primary ones. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisée par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet Ron (un locuteur non natif )
Bonjour Ron, Merci pour votre reponse. Your answer makes complete sense to me as I have a good understanding of adjectives/adverbs in english. However, in english "good" (adj) would be used to describe a house, but in french, "C'est maison est bien" is correct. Bien is an adverb. I was taught that "is" is a linking verb and therefore always requires an adjective. And, with in french, food is described with "bon" and not "bien." Why the difference between the two different nouns. Leah
RonC1
I think the nuanced difference has to do with the first rule under adverb about general statements with être where bien is the correct response.

Are people and food described with bon..meilleur (adjectives); other nouns take bien...mieux?

Am so confused. Can anyone help? Cette maison est bien? Une bonne maison? Ma meilleure amie....

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Mieux vs meilleur

Correct answer in test: "Elle (referring to la maison) est mieux que l'autre. In the lesson the example is "Les bonbons sont meilleurs que.... Noun + Etre +..meilleur or mieux. I would have thought it would be meilleure. $
Asked 1 year ago
CécileKwiziq language super starCorrect answer

Hi All,

This is so instinctive it is difficult to explain further, but you would always use 'meilleur' with food stuff  when you are comparing their taste/flavour etc .

Hope that helps...

I just conferred with a native French speaker and learned the following: Ma maison est mieux que la tienne. Mes bonbons sont meilleurs que les tiens. Two completely parallel grammatical constructions but different use of adverb vs. adjective. Maybe Aurélie can weigh in here. -- Chris (who conferred with a native speaker).
Same question. Nobody really has the answer to this? 

Mieux vs meilleur

Correct answer in test: "Elle (referring to la maison) est mieux que l'autre. In the lesson the example is "Les bonbons sont meilleurs que.... Noun + Etre +..meilleur or mieux. I would have thought it would be meilleure. $

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mieux instead of meilleure

Here's an example from your quiz: "Annette est meilleure en natation que Julie." Since we're referring to "swimming", a verb...wouldn't we use "mieux" here instead of "meilleure?
Asked 1 year ago
RonC1
Bonjour Helen, In a word, no. Mieux is an adverb that modifies: a verb, an adjective or another adverb (if I recall correctly). In the phrase: «Annette est meilleure en natation que Julie.», la natation is a noun which, in turn requires an adjective not an adverb, hence the use of meilleure. Also the adjective is modifying Annette by describing her as better. «- Meilleur/meilleure is the comparative form of the adjective bon/bonne - Mieux is the comparative form of the adverb bien.» a simple phrase such as «Annette est bonne en natation» --> Annette is good in swimming. Now let's take a look at this phrase. Annette swims better than Julie --> Annette nage mieux que Julie. From this phrase we see that «mieux» is used in an adverbial sense. Adverb use in French follows basically the same rules as it does in English grammar. J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet
OK. I thought "en natation" was a verb, meaning "swimming". Since it's a noun meillure makes since. Thanks.
Ron explained it quite well. Maybe juxtaposing two examples will help here: Anne est meilleure en natation : Anne is "the better one" in swimming = Ann is the better swimmer. Clearly, meilleure modifies the person, Anne, and hence needs to be an adjective. Anne nage mieux : Anne swims better. Here mieux modifies the verb (to swim) and therefore we need the adverb (mieux) and not the adjective (meilleure). -- Chris (not a native speaker).
Darn, I just realized that Ron has pretty much given these two examples. Sorry for doubleposting. -- Chris.

mieux instead of meilleure

Here's an example from your quiz: "Annette est meilleure en natation que Julie." Since we're referring to "swimming", a verb...wouldn't we use "mieux" here instead of "meilleure?

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I Just took a kwiz and need some assistance

The question said translate: "This computer works the best. " I translated it as le meilleur but it was marked wrong. The correction said the right answer was le mieux. I'm confused.
Asked 1 year ago
RonC1
Bonsoir Habiba, The disconnect here for you seems to be that it appears to be a comparison of the quality of the computers. In fact, the comparison is more in line with the functionality, i.e. works the best, so the comparison requires an adverb instead of an adjective, i.e. le mieux vs. le meilleur. From the lesson: «These forms come from: bien (well) -> mieux (better) -> le mieux (the best)» For adjectives, from the lesson: «These forms come from: bon/bonne (good) -> meilleur/e (better) -> le/la meilleur/e (the best) (plural) bons / bonnes -> meilleurs / meilleures -> les meilleurs / les meilleures» J'espère que ma réponse vous aiderait. Bonne chance et bonne continuation dans vos études en français, la langue de Molière et qui a été utilisé par le monde français depuis l’époque d’Hugues Capet

I Just took a kwiz and need some assistance

The question said translate: "This computer works the best. " I translated it as le meilleur but it was marked wrong. The correction said the right answer was le mieux. I'm confused.

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"I'm good at maths,...." I think that this English translation should drop the "s" on maths.

Asked 1 year ago
RonC1
Bonjour Glen, Je suis bon en maths, mais il est meilleur en maths que moi. I'm good at maths, but he is better at maths than me. Let's look at the Collins-Robert English to French translation of «math»: math (ˈmæθ ) noun abbreviation (US) (= mathematics) maths fpl So the French word is «maths». The first time I read this phrase, I too, found it disconcerting since we in the US do not say «maths», just the singular generic term «math». Because it is written like that in the lesson, I am curious if this is a proper usage in other parts of the world. Bonne chance et bonne continuation.
We say maths in the UK, that's probably why.
RonC1
Bonjour Harriet, Merci d'avoir donné une bonne explication. Bonne chance.

"I'm good at maths,...." I think that this English translation should drop the "s" on maths.

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Why is `bon` a feminine adjective? An adverb has no gender, but an adjective does.

Tu préfères le chocolat ou la vanille ? - La vanille, c'est bon, mais le chocolat, c'est meilleur !
Asked 2 years ago
Hi James, it's very counter intuitive, especially in this context, but any adjective following c'est is (still) always masculine. More here: Standalone adjectives after c'est are always masculine
Thanks Andy, after posting my query I saw the tutorial on `C`est + adjective`

Why is `bon` a feminine adjective? An adverb has no gender, but an adjective does.

Tu préfères le chocolat ou la vanille ? - La vanille, c'est bon, mais le chocolat, c'est meilleur !

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LesleyC1

Baptiste est mon pire ennemi. Baptiste is my worse ennemy.-

Typo - should be 'enemy' in English. Also, we wouldn't really say 'my worse enemy' in English, rather 'my worst enemy or 'a worse enemy' are ok.
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Merci beaucoup Lesley ! Thanks to you, this example has now been fixed :) Bonne Année !
Lesley asked:View original

Baptiste est mon pire ennemi. Baptiste is my worse ennemy.-

Typo - should be 'enemy' in English. Also, we wouldn't really say 'my worse enemy' in English, rather 'my worst enemy or 'a worse enemy' are ok.

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RE the example about the television: the

speaker seems to be talking about two specific tv sets, but the comparative chosen is, "mieux." Why would it not be, "meilleur?"
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Susan ! Here it's the fact that to express a general opinion on something (This is good) that is *not* food, you use "c'est bien" in French rather than "c'est bon". Therefore, the comparative will be "mieux" and not "meilleur" ! I hope that's helpful! Bonnes Fêtes et à bientôt !
Merci. To be sure I understand: if I were speaking of my tv, irrespective of comparison, I would say, "Ma télé est bien," not, "Ma télé est bon?"
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Exactement Susan ! For anything that isn't food, you will use "c'est bien" instead of "c'est bon" ! Bonnes fêtes !
In an example above "Quel est le meilleur aspirateur?", that implies that l'aspirateur est bon, correct? Why would this not be "bien", like the case of "Ma télé est bien" above? It's not food.

RE the example about the television: the

speaker seems to be talking about two specific tv sets, but the comparative chosen is, "mieux." Why would it not be, "meilleur?"

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Tu préfères le chocolat ou la vanille ? - La vanille, c'est bon, mais le chocolat, c'est meilleur !

First of all Happy Christmas to you all and many thanks for the hard work and patience the team puts into this question forum. My question is, in the above sentence, is the c'est as apposed to just est necessary, or is it just stylistic?
Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Jennifer, et Joyeux Noël à vous aussi ! In such cases, "Vanilla is nice..." stated as a general statement, you will use "c'est" instead of "est" in colloquial French. If you said "La vanille est bonne", it would refer to a specific case = "*the* vanilla is good". Because you use "la" i both cases, the way to show this is a general statement is to use "c'est". I hope that's helpful! Bonnes Fêtes et à bientôt !
Thank you Aurélie. When you say you would use c'est in colloquial french, would formal french be different? Your answer certainly helped me in part because it is strange from an english point of view to have 'it is' in the middle of a sentence and now at least I understand why that can occur, but now you have raised the colloquial issue.
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Here the term "colloquial" simply means that's the way French people would say it :) Bonnes fêtes !
Merci bien et vous aussi!

Tu préfères le chocolat ou la vanille ? - La vanille, c'est bon, mais le chocolat, c'est meilleur !

First of all Happy Christmas to you all and many thanks for the hard work and patience the team puts into this question forum. My question is, in the above sentence, is the c'est as apposed to just est necessary, or is it just stylistic?

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The first video at 2:52 says the least is "le plus...." but should this not be "le moins...."?

Asked 2 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour William ! The videos on our website often come from third parties, so we cannot edit them. However, in this case, only the last part of the video is relevant to this lesson, so we've edited it to only play that part of the video, where the mistake doesn't feature. I hope that's helpful! À bientôt !

The first video at 2:52 says the least is "le plus...." but should this not be "le moins...."?

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Pire or plus mauvais?

I don't think the examples given have explained the difference between these two forms. I think I read somewhere that pire was more for abstract things. Is this right? What is the difference between an accent and results?
Asked 2 years ago
LauraKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Emma, There's no difference, they are synonyms.

Pire or plus mauvais?

I don't think the examples given have explained the difference between these two forms. I think I read somewhere that pire was more for abstract things. Is this right? What is the difference between an accent and results?

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Adjectives / adverbs?

Do I understand correctly that meilleur et plus mauvais/pire are adjectives and that mieux and plus mal are adverbs? (If so, a "Note for grammar nerds" might be worth adding.)
Asked 3 years ago
AurélieKwiziq language super star
Bonjour Almut ! Thank you very much for reporting these sound issues. Thanks to you, they've now been fixed! Merci et à bientôt !

Adjectives / adverbs?

Do I understand correctly that meilleur et plus mauvais/pire are adjectives and that mieux and plus mal are adverbs? (If so, a "Note for grammar nerds" might be worth adding.)

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