by Don  

Another word that means bigger is больше. In this meaning it is what we call a comparative adjective:

Какая страна больше: Казахстан или Молдавия? Which country is bigger: Kazakhstan or Moldova?
Казахстан больше, чем Молдавия. Kazakhstan is bigger than Moldоvа.
Моя машина больше, чем твоя. My car is bigger than yours.
Хотя Соединённый Штаты Америки — большая страна, Россия ещё больше. Although the United States of America is a large country, Russia is even bigger.

Just as with other comparative sentences, if чем is followed by a simple noun phrase in the nominative case, you can make an equivalent phrase without чем by putting the noun in the genitive. Thus the second and third sentences from above can be rephrased as:

Казахстан больше Молдавии.
Моя машина больше твоей.

One thing you can't do with больше is to make a sentence like “John lives in a bigger house than Victor.” When “bigger” directly modifies a noun, Russians have to use either «больший» or «более большой», thus:

Иван живёт в большем доме, чем Виктор. or
Иван живёт в более большом доме, чем Виктор.

Больше has other meanings as well. We will explore them over the next couple weekds.

1 comment

Comment from: Shady_arc [Visitor]

I certainly would advise against using “более большой". It sounds grammatical, but very awkward, as “I have been drinking drinks at the drinking party". Given that “big” and “more” are commonly used words, I would suggest to simply use the adjective “больший".
When it comes to the words that are frequently used, it is important to stick to constructions that are typically used with them, and therefore expected by a listener. One can hardly mess up in a sentence about “An acid being more concentrated". But as for “a more big building". . . I am not sure I have ever heard it this way (i.e. “более большой"). It is irrational, no matter how you look at it. Even if the language is not your native, you still have to properly decline the adjective (больший or большой) to make it agree with a noun. So “более большой” doesn’t solve anything. The grammar seems OK, but stylistically this is horrible, much like the use of “иметь” to express the idea “to have".

05/19/10 @ 07:54

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