Consider the following sentence.


It seems to me that this sentence compares a noun 出費 with a verb 予定していた.

Let us compare it with a simpler example comparing a noun with another noun as follows.

B: 熱いミルクは冷たいミルクよりおいしい。Hot milk is more delicious than cold one.

Is it grammatically correct in Japanese to compare a verb with a noun as in sentence A?

  • 2
    How do you understand this example sentence to be a comparison? I don't follow your understanding yet. – sazarando Oct 18 '16 at 7:42
  • @sazarando: Why is it not a comparison? It is clear that there is "more ... than ..." grammar used here. – Kim Jong Un Oct 18 '16 at 7:54
  • I explained why in my new edit. – stack reader Oct 18 '16 at 7:58

In English, you can compare a noun with an action, for example

I spent more money than I expected/planned/thought I would spend.

Just because there is no noun after the conjunction than doesn't mean it is not a comparative sentence. The same logic applies to the sentence.

足が出るとは To make a loss means (Literally, what we call 足が出る is)

出費が予定していたより多くなることだ。Expenses become bigger than we have been planning.

Here, the comparison is expenses vs (expenses) we have been planning (to spend).

  • I spent more money than I expected/planned/thought I would spend. That is not comparing a noun with an action. That's comparing two actions: what I actually spent vs. what I thought I'd spend. – istrasci Oct 18 '16 at 16:47

I think I understand why this is confusing now.

From weblio:

より ( 格助 ) ①比較の基準を表す。「よりは」「よりも」「よりか」などの形をとることが多い。 「富士山-高い山」 「思った-も立派なできばえ」...

But in the definition for 格助詞 it says this:

【格助詞】 助詞の一類。体言または体言に準ずる語に付き,その語が他の語に対してどのような関係に立つかを示すもの。「花が咲く」「学校へ行く」の「が」「へ」など。口語では「が」「の」「を」「に」「へ」「と」「より」「から」「で」など...

Neither「予想していた」nor「思った」are 体言 (nouns or noun-phrases).
So why is it OK to use the 格助詞「より」like in your example?
This is your confusion, correct?

I think if we went by the above dictionary definitions that we should expect,

  • 「思ったより立派」and
  • 「予想していたより多い」

but the reality is that it is more usually said and written without the nominalizing の.

Perhaps 思った and 予想していた are considered as 体言に準ずるもの, but I'm not sure why in this case.


There is no comparison in this sentence. It is simply explaining that the expression「足が出る」means to have used more money than planned.

The "と" here is not used to compare but to sort of quote the expression. as in 「いいよ」言いました。

より compares 多くなること and 予定... kinda... comparison between the amount you used and the amount your planned to use. 「足が出る」と is irrelevant to the comparison.


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