4

You can use this construct with verbs:

食べれば食べるほど太る

and with adjectives:

ジェットコースターは高ければ高いほど楽しい

but what about adverbs?

if, for example, I wanted to say of a windmill "the faster it turns, the more power it generates"?

  • 5
    I'd say 「速く回れば回るほど・・・」 Oh!? I repeat the verb, not the adverb! (速く is not an adverb, though...) – user1016 Jan 29 '14 at 14:40
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    @Chocolate I think that 速く can be considered an adverb. – Earthliŋ Jan 29 '14 at 16:33
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    As Chocolate says or suggests, 速く is an adjective in Japanese, period. That is how it is taught in every school in Japan. That "quick" is an adjective and "quickly" is an adverb in English is of no relevance here. – l'électeur Jan 29 '14 at 22:37
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    速く is modifying 回る, a verb, so it's used adverbially. That's what's important. – dainichi Jan 30 '14 at 4:39
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    I know nothing of linguistics, so I don't really know whether it's called an adverb or not. So long as people understand the question, that's what matters. – momerathe Jan 30 '14 at 9:23
7

I think the construction works for adverbs as per the construction Chocolate gives in the comment.

In particular, the simple rule is:

The adverb will go with a verb. Use the construction on the verb.

This gets you what you want, because ほど refers to the extent it does [V] [Adv]; here it refers to the extent it turns fast. Compare the rough translations:

  1. 回れば発電する。
    If it turns, it generates power.

  2. 速く回れば回るほど発電する。
    If it turns fast, it generates power to the extent to which it turns (fast). or
    If it turns fast, the extent to which it turns is reflected in the power it generates.
    that is
    The faster it turns, the more power it generates.

  • ok, thanks. As Chocolate noted, it was the repetition of the verb as opposed to the adverb that felt odd to me, as if the emphasis was in the wrong place. I'll leave this question open for a short while, just in case any differing viewpoints come along. – momerathe Jan 29 '14 at 16:57
  • Where is the "the more" part in 「速く回れば回るほど発電する。」? – l'électeur Jan 29 '14 at 22:33
  • @TokyoNagoya I think that "the more" just appears in the translation as part of the English construction, because in English the construction calls for something like a comparative on both sides of the comma. E.g. 食べれば食べるほど太る would usually translated as "The more you eat, the more you gain weight", although there is no "more" in Japanese. In Japanese you don't need something like もっと to express "the more ... the more ...". There is もっと食べれば食べるほど太る or もっと食べれば食べただけ太る, but their nuance is slightly different. Just how different probably deserves a separate question. – Earthliŋ Jan 29 '14 at 22:55
  • I still have some doubts about it. To increase "the extent to which it turns (fast)", one can 1) make it turn for a longer time span and/or 2) make it turn faster. "The faster it turns, the more power it generates" sounds only pertaining to 2). – null Jan 26 '15 at 8:41

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