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Comparisons of Equality

Comparisons of equality are used when you want to say that two people or things are the same. For example, in English, we might say something like:

  • John is as tall as Bill.
  • Nicolás has as many friends as Juan.
  • María reads as much as Jaime.

You can see that in a sense, you’re making a statement of equivalence. Now, if you look closely at the examples above, you’ll see that we’re making comparisons of different types of things in each of the three examples.

There are essentially three types of comparisons of equality: comparisons of adjectives (eg., how tall someone is), comparisons of nouns (eg., how many friends one has), and comparisons of actions (verbs/adverbs. Eg., how much someone reads). Here are the structures and some examples of each in Spanish:

Formula for adjectives:

Person/thing 1 + form of ser + tan + adjective + como + other person.
(where the adjective agrees with the gender and number of the person or thing #1)

  • Ej: Juan es tan alto como Pepe.
  • Ej: María es tan hermosa como Susana.

Formula for nouns:

Person/thing + form of tener + tanto(a,os,as) + noun + como + other person/thing.
(where the form of tanto used agrees with the gender and number of the noun which follows)

  • Ej: Juan tiene tantos libros como Felipe.
  • Ej: María tiene tanta ropa como Susana.

Formula for actions:

Person + verb + TANTO COMO + other person.
(where tanto como is invariable)

  • Ej: María habla tanto como Felipe.
  • Ej: Alán corre tanto como su hermano.