Welcome 😊 to our grammar lesson on comparisons of equality in Spanish.
Comparisons of equality are those where two things or people are equal in some way. Sentences like “Dancing is as fun as singing”, or “Ana has as much money as Juan” are comparisons of equality.
By the end of this lesson, you will be able to make these comparisons in Spanish with the formulas tan como and tanto como.
You will also find a Quiz and an Exercise to practice.
Comparisons with “tan como”
tan como means “as… as…“.
We can only use tan como with an adjective or an adverb in between.
Mi hermano es tan alto como yo.
My brother is as tall as I am.
Los atletas corren tan rápido como un tigre.
The athletes run as fast as a tiger.
Sus hermanas son tan listas como ella.
Her sisters are as smart as she is.
tan como always needs an adjective or an adverb in between. Otherwise, it becomes tanto como:
¿Eres tan alto como yo?
Are you as tall as me?
Sí, tanto como tú.
Yes, as much as you.
Comparisons with “tanto como”
tanto como means “as much… as…”.
María lee tanto como Ana.
María reads as much as Ana.
Nosotros dormimos tanto como ellos.
We sleep as much as they do.
If the comparison is about something expressed with a noun, we need to match “tanto” to its gender and number, resulting in 4 possibilities: tanto / tanta / tantos / tantas (with “tantos” and “tantas”, the comparison means “as many… as…”).
Paco tiene tanto dinero como Manuel.
Paco has as much money as Manuel.
La niña come tanta pasta como el niño.
The girl eats as much pasta as the boy.
Hay tantos barcos en el mar como ayer.
There are as many ships at sea as there were yesterday.
Mi barrio tiene tantas bibliotecas como el tuyo.
My neighborhood has as many libraries as yours.
Sometimes we may be talking about a noun that doesn’t appear explicitly in the sentence. But we still need to match tanto to its gender and number.
Tengo tantas como tú.
I have as many as you have. (of something feminine plural that doesn’t appear in the sentence. For example, it could be “amigas”)
Take this short Quiz about comparisons of equality:
Complete the following sentences choosing between “tan, tanto, tanta, tantos, tantas”. Click on the gray spaces to see the solutions:
1) En España hay tantas iglesias como en Francia.
In Spain there are as many churches as in France.
2) Las gafas son tan caras como el reloj.
The glasses are as expensive as the watch.
3) Elena estudia tanto como Carlos.
Elena studies as much as Carlos.
4) He comprado tanta mermelada como tú.
I have bought as much jam as you have.
5) El reloj es tan barato como el anillo.
The watch is as cheap as the ring.
6) Yo no tengo tanta suerte como tú.
I don’t have as much luck as you.
7) Este material es tan elástico como la goma.
This material is as stretchy as rubber.
8) Yo corro tanto como ellos.
I run as much as they do.
9) “¿Es la playa tan bonita como la montaña?” – “Sí, tanto como la montaña”.
“Is the beach as beautiful as the mountain?” – “Yes, as much as the mountain”.