How do I use it in sentences

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as or how?

Do you sometimes do not know if you are comparing how or as should use? Then you are not alone, because even some Germans do not always use these two words in comparative sentences as it is in the grammar books. Even native speakers can sometimes hear sentences like “I am taller than you” or even “I am better than you.” But these sentences are not in standard language!

as and how - comparison particle and conjunction

The words as and how are often referred to as comparison particles, but basically both words are conjunctions, because a whole sentence can follow in comparisons.

She runs faster than me.
She runs faster than I ran at her age.

Today is colder than yesterday.
Today it is colder than it was yesterday.

He did better than I expected.

Do it like me!
Do it like I did!

Do it the best you can!

Comparing with a comma or without?

The examples you have just read show when we put a comma in comparative sentences and when we don't. Following of as or how a sentence with a conjugated verb is preceded by the conjunction (as or how) a comma. Is behind in the sentence as or how not a conjugated verb, so we write the comparison without a comma.

how or as?

But now we come to the question of when we use which conjunction in comparative clauses.

The rules are simple:

  • When comparing with the comparative (more quickly, higher, more beautiful etc.) we use as.
  • When comparing with the unincreased adjective, i.e. the positive (fast, high, beautiful etc.) how.

compare to how

With the comparison particle how we express equality. So there is no difference between the things, facts, or people we are comparing. The adjective is never increased.

She is as tall as I am.
He's not as big as she is.
The book is as expensive as the other.
I don't like drinking wine as much as I do beer.
The car is twice as expensive as the other.
He's as strong as a bear.
It smells like cleaning supplies.
She can sing like no other.
Someone like you should be careful about that.
In times like these you have to be thrifty.
You are like me.

I need the answer asap.

I want to do as well as you do.
I want to do as well as you did yesterday.

compare to as

With the comparison particle as we express inequality. So there is a difference between the things, facts, or people we are comparing.

Inequality according to the comparative

In comparisons we use the heightened adjective (comparative) + as

He is bigger than me.
The book is more expensive than the other.
She is older than her sister.
He'd rather play soccer than basketball.
Two hours are more than enough for this task.
We're doing better now than never.

She did better than me.
She did better than I did yesterday.

Inequality after other, different, Nothing, no, nobody

To other, different, Nothing, no, nobody is in comparisons the comparison particles as.

Her new hairstyle is far from beautiful.
The end of the film was different from what I expected.
He's talking nothing but nonsense.
I don't want to talk to anyone other than her.
None other than him should take on this task.
I haven't spoken to anyone but him.

Equality after as if, as if, as + Subjunctive

We compare the event with another assumed (hypothetical) event.

She pretends she's never heard it before.
She pretended she'd never heard it before.
She pretends she's never heard of it.
It felt like I'd been waiting forever.
It felt like I'd been waiting forever.

Syntax in comparison sentences with as and how

In language levels A1 and A2 you will learn that the infinitive, the prefix of separable verbs, the participle II or the conjugated verb in subordinate clauses are at the end.

However, there are elements that are still behind it (in the aftermath):

At the very end of the sentence, i.e. after the infinitive, the prefix of separable verbs, the participle II or the conjugated verb (in the subordinate clause) compare to as and how as Infinitives with to.

I want to do better than yesterday.
Next time I'll try to do better than today.
I felt like an idiot.
She did it as well as I did.
I think he did just as well as she did.

The temporal conjunction as

There is also the temporal conjunction as.

When we first met, we were still students.
When I was a kid, I would often play for hours.

You can read more about this here:When or when? - Good question

Direct and indirect questions with how

We can answer direct and indirect questions with the interrogative pronoun how begin when we ask the way.

How did you do that?
Can you please tell me how to get to the town hall?
I wonder how she did it.
I would like to know how to do it.

After so many explanations and examples on how to compare with as and how Now is the time to practice what you have learned!

Compare with as and how - exercises for A2, B1, B2

To ask?

All questions and answers from the series:
Good question - questions from German class

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