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Comparative Subordinate Conjunctions and Comparative Subordinate Clauses

Comparative conjunctions are used to introduce the second element of a comparison within the same clause:

Giovanni parla meglio lo spagnolo che l'inglese.
Giovanni speaks Spanish better than English.

or to introduce a comparative subordinate clause, that is, a clause that presents a sort of comparison with an idea or statement mentioned in the main clause.

Non è così bello come mi avevi detto.
He isn’t as cute as you had told me.

Below is the basic set of comparative constructions we’ll be exploring over the course of this lesson:

così… come = as… as
più… che = more… than
meno… che = less… than
meglio …che = better… than
peggio… che = worse… than
tanto… quanto = as… as

Comparative clauses can express majority, minority or equality. Comparative clauses conveying the concept of majority and minority can be either implicit or explicit. When explicit, they are introduced by the conjunction che, or by the conjunction phrases di quanto, di quello che, di come, and bear a relationship with a word (or words) in the main clause. The verb in the subordinate clause can be expressed in the indicative, subjunctive or even in the conditional mood, depending on the context. Let’s see a few examples:

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