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Here is one definition for より:

より (adv,prt) (1) from; out of; since; at; (2) than; (3) other than; except; but; (4) more;

I see that one of the definitions of this word is "more". Is より一層 a different word altogether, or does it derive its より from the one defined above?

より一層 (よりいっそう) (exp,adv) (1) still more; even more; much more; all the more; further; (exp,adj-no) (2) increased; greater

Are all these examples of より the same word? How are they different from one another?



A is a bigger dream than B.



A is a bigger dream.



A is an even bigger dream.(?)



A bigger dream than A. (?)

Are these translations correct? In reference to how I translated number 4, see this example:


Because I'm a foreigner, my facial structure and my body are relatively big as compared to a Japanese, but I don't think I have a scary aura about me at all.

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[[ Are these translations correct? ]] - They sound right to me. – istrasci May 17 '12 at 16:14
#1 「Aのほうが」 (or just 「Aは」) would sound more natural to me... – user1016 May 17 '12 at 17:20

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

1 and 4 are the same. They are a particle placed after noun phrases, meaning roughly the same as the preposition "than" in English (which some will claim has to be a conjunction, but let's not go there), i.e. it makes the noun phrase a basis for comparison.

2 and 3 are the same. They are an adverb placed before adjectives, meaning roughly the same as the English "more" or "-er", i.e. it turns the adjective into its comparative form.

What might be confusing you is that Japanese doesn't need to use a "comparative form" of adjectives in comparisons, i.e. you can say


In this case より attaches to B and 大きい isn't modified.

You could also say


which I guess more closely mirrors the e.g. English construction, but there's no reason for the two よりs, and this sounds awkward (while maybe not ungrammatical).

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wow that second example is interesting. Thank you. – yadokari May 18 '12 at 1:59

より in examples 1 and 4 is a particle which marks a target of comparison, and より in examples 2 and 3 is an adverb which signifies that the adjective which it modifies is a comparison. See the answers to this question for an explanation of adverb より.

より一層 is just two adverbs より and 一層. 一層 means “even more,” or “even …er” when it modifies an adjective.

Your translations are fine. As you probably noticed, we cannot translate the Japanese sentence in example 4 into a complete sentence in English without knowing what the subject is because a complete sentence has to have a subject in English. Just in case, this does not mean that the Japanese sentence in example 4 is incomplete.

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Could the adverb-form be derived from the particle-form by omission? I.e, AはBより大きい → AはØより大きい – Flaw May 18 '12 at 2:00
@Flaw: The adverb form was derived from the particle form, as I wrote in the answer to the linked question. – Tsuyoshi Ito May 18 '12 at 8:34

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