Más Que vs Más De In Spanish: Definitions & Examples

  • Jada Lòpez
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    🎓 B.A., Translation and Interpreting English and Spanish, Universidad de Granada
    🎓 M.A., Formación de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera (ELE), Universidad Pablo de Olavide

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Más Que vs Más De In Spanish: Definitions & Examples

The Spanish phrases más que and más de might sound similar, but they have very different meanings/nuances.

I’ll explain how these phrases differ and when you should use each.

What does más que mean in Spanish?

Más que is a connective phrase that Spanish speakers use to compare two things.

The word más can be an adjective or adverb that means more; using it with the relative pronoun que can mean “rather than”.

You can use it to say “more than” or “except”.

This phrase also has other meanings which you can see by example below.

What does más de mean in Spanish?

The phrase más de also has a few meanings.

It can mean “more than”, “more of”, “more from”, or “more due to” (in the context of emotions).

Más means “more”, and de means “of”.

See below for a few example sentences.

When should you use más que in Spanish?

Más que is a useful connector that works in many situations.

A few examples of scenarios Spanish speakers use this phrase include:

1. Superlative comparatives

If you want to explain that someone or something can perform an action better or worse than someone else, you can use más que.

To use the phrase in this context, remember to use an adjective between más and que.

Therefore, the structure you should use is: más + adjective + que

Let’s consider a few examples to see how to use this structure.

Listen to audio

Mi coche es más rápido que el de mi primo.

My car is faster than my cousin's.
Listen to audio

Su perro es más lindo que el de su hermano.

Her dog is cuter than her brother's.
Listen to audio

Su casa es más vieja que la tuya.

His house is older than yours.

As you can see in these examples, you can use unique adjectives after más for each sentence to convey your meaning, such as rápido (fast) lindo (cute) or vieja (old).

The word más in these sentences modifies the meaning to give us a superlative.

2. Suggesting exclusivity

Más que is also ideal if you want to rule out all other factors apart from the possibility of the topic of your sentence.

In this case, the connective phrase is the equivalent of using the word “but” when you want to say “except”.

Here are some examples to show this usage:

Listen to audio

No le gusta nada más que hablar sobre si misma.

She likes nothing more than to talk about herself.
Listen to audio

Nadie más que mi marido sabe mis libros favoritos.

No one but my husband knows my favourite books.
Listen to audio

No ha comido nada más que un guisante.

He hasn't eaten anything but a pea.

What does menos que mean in Spanish?

Menos que translates to English as “less than”.

You can use this phrase to compare two things just as you can with más que.

Consider the example sentences below to see how to use this counterpart of más que when comparing two actions or factors.

Listen to audio

Su hija tiene menos altura que su hijo.

Her daughter is shorter than her son.
Listen to audio

A la mujer le gusta leer menos que escribir en español.

The woman likes to read less than to write in Spanish.
Listen to audio

A mí me gusta bailar menos que cantar.

I like to dance less than to sing.

When should you use más de in Spanish

You should use más de when comparing quantities of money or numbers if you’re asking for more of something, comparing the origins of something or someone, or comparing emotions.

1. Comparing or estimating quantities

If you need to compare quantities, such as the price of Spanish food and the amount of money you have, you can use más de to explain this difference.

This phrase also works if you need to estimate how many people are doing something.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Listen to audio

No puede comprar salmon porque cuesta más de $12.

He can't buy salmon because it costs more than $12.
Listen to audio

Más de cincuenta hombres y mujeres pueden entrar en la fiesta.

More than fifty men and women can enter the party.

2. Requesting more of something

Más de is the phrase you must use to request more of something.

For example, if you enjoyed your appetizer so much that you want another plate, you can use más de to make your request.

You can also use más de to mention when you take more of something.

Here are a couple of examples:

Listen to audio

¿Me das más de la sopa de cebolla? Estaba muy rica.

Can you give me more of the onion soup? It was very delicious.
Listen to audio

Quiero hablar más del tema del calentamiento global.

I want to talk more about the global warming topic.

3. Comparing the origins of something

Más de is appropriate for comparing the origins of something or someone.

If you’re adding extra facts to someone’s observation about someone’s origins, you can use pero and más de to provide those details.

Listen to audio

¿Hay muchos extranjeros en Benidorm?

Are there many foreign people in Benidorm?
Listen to audio

Sí, hay muchos, pero más de Inglaterra.

Yes, there are many, but more from England.
Listen to audio

Al video conferencia vinieron muchas personas de Barcelona, pero más de Madrid.

Many people from Barcelona came to the video conference, but more from Madrid.

4. Comparing emotions

To compare emotions that certain actions trigger in Spanish, you must use the más de connective.

In this case, más de means “more due to” or “more of”.

Let’s consider a couple of examples.

Listen to audio

Le sorprendió más del volume de la música que la letra.

She was surprised more due to the loudness of the music than the lyrics.
Listen to audio

Se reí mas del susto que de la felicidad.

He laughed more from shock than happiness.

What does menos de mean in Spanish?

Spanish speakers use menos de to say “less than” or “fewer than”.

You can use this phrase to talk about a restricted quantity, less than you expect, or to set a limit on a quantity.

Consider the following examples to learn how to use menos de.

Listen to audio

La comida de este supermercado cuesta menos del otro.

The food from this supermarket costs less than the other.
Listen to audio

Mis gastos fueron menos de la cantidad ideal.

My expenses were less than the ideal amount.

Practice using más que and más de to perfect your Spanish

Since comparing things is essential to speaking Spanish, and making comparisons enriches your conversations, it’s well worth knowing what más que and más de mean.

Más que and más de are easier than you think.

If you’re just starting with Spanish, practice using these phrases in sentences, and you’ll soon be able to use them correctly.

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