1

Colour me a little confused.

1) Say I'm comparing two objects:

Q: テレビと本と、どちらが好きですか?

A: テレビより、本ほうが好きです。

2) Then say I'm comparing two actions:

Q: テレビを見ると、本を読むと、どちらが好きですか?

A: テレビを見るより、本を読むほうがすきです。

3) Then, suppose I'm comparing two objects negatively:

Q: テレビと本と、どちらがおもしろくないですか?

A: テレビは、ほんよりほどおもしろくないです。

4) Lastly, I'm comparing two actions negatively:

Q: テレビを見ると、本を読むと、どちらがおもしろくないですか?

A: テレビを見るは、ほんを読むほどおもしろくないです。

So, to be sure I've got this right: in positive comparisons, you only use の for the ~より~ほうが structure comparing objects, and when asking someone a question that involves comparing actions. In negative comparisons, you don't use の when comparing objects at all, but you do use の both for asking someone to compare actions and for ~は~ほど.

So if I've not made a mistake, the question is: what the heck is going on here? I'm very confused at the differences between these structures in the usage of の. Could you please try to explain to me why の is used or not used in each of the four examples?

  • Also, I'd appreciate it if you could use furigana for any kanji you use that I haven't written in my OP - my kanji knowledge is very small. – Lou Jan 20 '15 at 20:42
5

Q: テレビと本と、どちらが好きですか?

A: テレビより、本ほうが好きです。

No problem. 「の」 is needed to connect 「本」 and 「ほう」, both of which are nouns.  「の」 is not optional if you are using 「ほう」.

In colloquial speech, however, you will hear us say 「テレビより本が好き。」, but even in colloquial speech, you cannot use just 「ほう」 without a 「の」 before it.

Q: テレビを見ると、本を読むと、どちらが好きですか?

A: テレビを見るより、本を読むほうがすきです。

Great. The two 「の's」 are needed because you need to nominalize the two verbs 「見る」 and 「読む」. Only then, you can attach the particle 「と」.

If I may say this, quite a few J-learners forget to add 「の」 in this type of sentence. In addition, they tend to insert 「の」 between a verb and 「ほう」, which is a grammar mistake.

Q: テレビと本と、どちらがおもしろくないですか?

A: テレビは、ほんよりほどおもしろくないです。

Your first mistake; We do not say 「~~よりほど」. You need to pick one and drop the other. 「ほど」 sounds more formal (or elegant) than 「より」, but using 「より」 is just fine in daily convos.

More naturally, it is 「テレビが」, not 「テレビは」 in the answer. が-answer to a が-question is the golden rule. (You did use 「が」 in the question.) If it had been a plain statement instead an answer to a question, using 「は」 would have been more natural.

BTW, there is absolutely no room for using 「の」 in either the question or the answer. That is unless you add 「ほう」 into the question and answer to say:

「テレビと本と、どちらの[方]{ほう}がおもしろくないですか。」 「テレビの方が、本よりおもしろくないです。」

Q: テレビを見ると、本を読むと、どちらがおもしろくないですか?

A: テレビを見るは、ほんを読むのほどおもしろくないです。

Question is good. Answer needs to be fixed.

We do not say 「Verb + の + ほど」. You must either (1) drop 「の」 and use only 「ほど」 or (2) use 「より」 instead of 「のほど」.

The nominalizer 「の」 is necessary in all of the other places.

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