Comparison of adjectives in Portuguese

Sometimes we need to talk about people or things, and also describe them. In these cases, we use adjectives. Also, we may often have to compare things with other ones. That’s called “comparação de adjetivos” (comparison of adjectives) in Portuguese, and I will talk about it in this post.


There are three types of comparison: inferiority, equality and superiority. The first one is used when we want to say that someone/something is less than other. Ex: I am less tall than my brother.

In Portuguese we use menos…adjective..(do) que to make the comparison of inferiority. Similar to English, that uses less..adjective..thanMenos is equivalent to more and que/do que is equivalent to than. So the sentence in the previous paragraph would be Eu sou mais alto que meu irmão.

See another examples:

  • Carlos é menos rico que seu vizinho (or vizinho dele). (Carlos is less rich than his neighbour)
  • Meus pais são menos velhos que meus avós. (My parents are less old than my grandparents)
  • Esta casa é menos bonita que aquela. (This house is less beautiful than that one)


The comparison of equality is used when we want to say that someone/something is as…adjective…as somebody/something else. In Portuguese we use tão…adjective…quanto.

Let’s use the same examples above, but in an equality level:

  • Carlos é tão rico quanto seu vizinho (vizinho dele). (Carlos is as rich as his neighbour)
  • Meus pais são tão velhos quanto meus avós. (My parents are as old as my grandparents)
  • Esta casa é tão bonita quanto aquela. (This house is as beautiful as that one)

comparison adjectives portuguese


As you may have “guessed”, this is used to compare in a “superior” way (more than). However, differently from English, which has two ways to say that, depending on each adjective (-er suffix or more in front of it), in Portuguese we use mais…adjective..que/do que for (almost) all adjectives.

See the examples above in comparison of superiority:

  • Carlos é mais rico do que seu vizinho (vizinho dele). (Carlos is richer than his neighbour)
  • Meus pais são mais velhos que meus avós. (My parents are older than my grandparents). ‘That does no make sense at all; just an example 🙂
  • Esta casa é mais bonita do que aquela. (This house is more beautiful than that).


There are some adjectives that do not follow the superiority rule mentioned above. They are “irregular” adjectives. In these cases, we may not use mais in front of the adjective, but we keep using que/do que after it.

See the list:

  • bom: melhor (good – better)
  • mau: pior (bad – worse)
  • grande: maior (big – bigger)
  • pequeno: menor (small – smaller)

Some people say “mais bom” instead of “melhor“, or “mais grande” instead of “maior” and so on, but that is considered uncult and must be avoided.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

See you next time,


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