Posted by: Idioma Extra | August 17, 2011

Comparisons: as…as / as much…as / as many…

Comparisons: as…as / as much…as / as many…as  

English speakers often make comparisons between things using as…as / as much…as / as many…as. However, sometimes it is a little confusing, grammatically, deciding when to use which structure. Here is a brief explanation.


This structure is used with and adjective between as…as and with the verb “be.” When it is positive, it means the two things being compared are the same. When “be” is negative, the two things being compared are unequal. Also note that the adjective doesn’t change using this structure like in other comparatives (shorter, higher, more difficult, etc.)Here are some examples:

His hair is as long as hers. (the same)

The traffic in New York is as bad as the traffic in Chicago. (the same)

A soccer player isn’t as tall as a basketball player. (different)

The English language isn’t as difficult as the Chinese language. (different)

As much …as

In this structure, a noun is used between as much…as, specifically, a non-count noun. Another difference is the use of “have” with this structure. Similar, however, is when the structure is positive, the two things being compared are the same. When it is negative, there is a difference between the two. Here are some examples:

She has as much money as he does. (the same)

My neighborhood has as much noise as your neighborhood. (the same)

Liberia doesn’t have as much pollution as San José. (different)

I don’t have as much free time as you do. (different)

As many…as

This structure is the same as the one described beforehand with as much…as. The only difference with as many…as is that the noun must be a count noun. Here are some examples:

I have as many emails as she does. (the same)

My neighbor has as many televisions as we do in our house. (the same)

He doesn’t have as many pets as she does. (different)

MegaSuper doesn’t have as many vegetables as Automercado. (different)

Check yourself

Underline the correct word or phrase to complete the sentence.

1. My family (has / is) as many children as your family.

2. A lion isn’t as (fast / faster) as a cheetah.

3. Palí doesn’t have as (many / much) selection as Walmart.

4. This test isn’t as (more difficult / difficult) as the last test.

5. We (don’t have / haven’t) as much time as we used to.

6. His stereo (is / has) as loud as our stereo.

7. Quepos doesn’t have as (many / much) people as San José.

8. Do you think a human (is / has) as intelligent as a computer?

9. She doesn’t have as (much / many) work as I do.

10. My manager (hasn’t / doesn’t have) as much responsibility as the other managers.

Answers to last week’s Check Yourself:

1. He’s putting more effort into the job than he needs to. He is outdoing / overdoing it.

2. The city was outrun / overrun with protesters.

3. There are competitions to see who can overeat / outeat everyone else.

4. Tomorrow’s meeting is very important. Don’t oversleep / outsleep!

5. Who do you think outspends / overspends the other in a month: Donald Trump or Paris Hilton?

6. I’ve gained a lot of weight since college. I’ve overgrown / outgrown most of my clothes.

7. Don’t outthink / overthink I the problem. It’s actually quite simple.

8. I was always the fastest kid in high school. I could overrun / outrun everyone.

9. Who do you think outsells / oversells the other: Pepsi or Coca-Cola?

10. The weeds in my garden are outgrown / overgrown. I need to cut them.



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