The use of より/のほうが for comparisons seems straightforward when comparing like with like (e.g. "私の方が彼より英語が上手く話せる"). But I have trouble finding a non-clumsy way to express more complex comparisons, e.g. constructing as phrase like "a person who speaks English better than I speak Japanese".

What are some natural ways of expressing this kind of comparison, where we're not directly comparing the same quality/attribute between the two sides?

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    私が日本語をしゃべるよりもうまく英語をしゃべる人? Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


より can take a subordinate clause, just as in English "than" can take a subordinate clause. So literal translations would be:

He speaks English better than I speak Japanese.

The third one is nested and may seem complicated, but is closer to your original sentence.

Or using a relative clause, this becomes:

a person who speaks English better than I speak Japanese

In the above examples, 英語話せる and 英語話せる are basically interchangeable.

But I'd suggest you rephrase it and say the same thing more simply:

His English is better than my Japanese.

a person whose English is better than my Japanese

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