Grammar Info

N3 Lesson 4: 1/21


Compared to, When compared to


Noun + (くら)(1)

(1) (くら)べたら(くら)べれば(くら)べると


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About に比べて

(くら)べて is a set expression in Japanese, used when comparing one thing to another. It is often simply translated as '(A) compared to (B)', or 'when comparing (A) to (B)'. (くら)べる is a る - Verb that means 'to compare', or 'to contrast'.
(くら)べて will be attached directly after a noun, before the (B) part of the sentence will explain the comparison that is being made.
  • 東京(とうきょう)(ふゆ)北海道(ほっかいどう)(ふゆ)(くら)べて全然(ぜんぜん)(さむ)くない
    Tokyo's winter is not cold at all compared to Hokkaido.
  • 去年(きょねん)(くら)べて今年(ことし)(ふゆ)(あたた)かい。
    Compared to last year, this year's winter is warm.
Occasionally, the case marking particle と will be used instead of . and と are largely interchangeable in this expression, with focusing slightly more on the changes/differences between similar features of (A) and (B). Alternatively と often mutually contrasts (A) and (B), discussing their individual/unique characteristics.
  • 大阪(おおさか)人口(じんこう)東京(とうきょう)人口(じんこう)(くら)べて(ちい)さい。
    Osaka's population is smaller compared to Tokyo.
  • (かれ)真面目(まじめ)だけど(きみ)(かれ)(くら)べるもっと真面目(まじめ)
    He is serious too, but you are more serious compared to him.
  • (きみ)(かれ)(くら)べて真面目(まじめ)
    Compared to him, you are serious. (You are serious, while he has other qualities)
  • 日本(にほん)はアメリカ(くら)べて(ちい)さい。
    Compared to America, Japan is small. (Japan is small, compared to America, which is big, among other things)
The way that (くら)べる is conjugated is not overly important to the sentence, so long as the meaning of 'if', or 'when' is conveyed. Due to this, に(くら)べたら, に(くら)べれば, and に(くら)べると are all possible combinations.
  • (ほか)地域(ちいき)(くら)たらこの地域(ちいき)()やすい
    Compared to other areas, this area is very easy to live in.
  • 去年(きょねん)(くら)べれば今年(ことし)(さむ)けど昨日(きのう)(くら)たら今日(きょう)(あたた)かい。
    If compared to last year, it is colder this year. However if we compare it to yesterday, it is warm today.
  • 新型(しんがた)パソコン(くら)べるとこのパソコンは(おそ)(かん)じるけどそんなに(おそ)くない
    If we compare this computer to a new model, it feels slow, but it's not that slow.


  • (いち)学期(がっき)(くら)べて成績(せいせき)がよくなった。

    My grades have improved compared to first semester.

    • アメリカ(くら)べたら日本(にほん)(ほう)安全(あんぜん)だと(おも)

      I think that when compared to America, Japan is the safer of the two.

      • (ほか)(いた)(くら)べて頭痛(ずつう)一番(いちばん)(つら)い。

        When compared to other types of pain, headaches are the worst.

        • 昨日(きのう)(くら)べたら今日(きょう)(あたた)かい

          Compared to yesterday, today is warmer.

          • 去年(きょねん)(くら)べて今年(ことし)(ゆき)(おお)

            Compared to last year, there is more snow.

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            に比べて – Grammar Discussion

            Most Recent Replies (10 in total)

            • Pablunpro


              I have the same exact question. Is there a kind soul that can enlighten us on this?
              Thank you in advance

            • Fuga


              Hey @Tulip and @Pablunpro !

              に比べて and より basically mean the same thing, so you can replace each grammar point with the other. However, they do have a slight difference in nuance. Since this grammar point uses the verb 比べる, ‘to compare’, it is used to emphasize the contrast (A compared to B), while より is used to demonstrate that something is more ~ than something else (B is more something than A).

              It seems like some of the questions for this grammar point did not include a hint for より, so we have just added them!

              I hope this answers your question!

            • Pablunpro


              Indeed it does, Fugaさん! お返事ありがとうございます。
              Do have a nice day!

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