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What is the difference between 还 and 更 in some comparasion sentences? For me, it seems that both characters means that one of the object/person which is being compared satisfies a certain characteristic even more than the other one. For example, in the following sentence, it seems that both can be used:

我很怕黑,但是他比我还/更怕.

But I'm not so sure of that. After reading a few more examples, it looks like that 更 has a more numerical/quantitative aspect than 还, which looks like more qualitative. So, for example, I would say: Yao Ming 比 Michael Jordan 更高, instead of using 还 and I would say 他比Megan Fox 还漂亮.

Are those intuition correct? Can someone explain these nuances? Thank you.

  • Good question! +1 :) – dan Dec 10 '19 at 14:32
  • There's an explanation at the Chinese Grammar Wiki: Expressing "even more" with "geng" or "hai". It also highlights how (unlike 还), 更 can be used in conjunction with 了, which is a grammatical difference. – Becky 李蓓 Dec 11 '19 at 10:46
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Compared with 还, 更 expresses a stronger tone in the structure 比 ... 还/更. E.g. 你比我还合适 vs 你比我更合适. 你比我更合适 is almost close to say you are much more suitable. 你比我还合适 is like you are even more suitable.

Outside the structure of 比... ,we could only use 更. E.g. 明天会更好,not 明天会还好. 我会变得更强,not 我会变得还强.

Hope this could help.

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Both 还 and 更 have more than one meanings and the meaning of "even more" is overlapped between the two characters,

When it means "even more" the two characters are interchangeable.

Yao Ming Michael Jordan = Yao Ming is taller than Michael

(It would be true even if Yao Ming was 5'3" and Michael Jordan was only 5'2")

~

Yao Ming Michael Jordan 更/还高 = Yao Ming is even taller than Michael

(It would be true only if Michael Jordan was considered very tall)

~

Megan Fox 漂亮 = she is more beautiful than Megan Fox

(it would be true even if she was just less ugly than Megan Fox)

~

Megan Fox 更/还漂亮 = she is even more beautiful than Megan Fox

(It would be true only if Megan Fox was considered very beautiful)

[比 (N) 还 (adj)] = [比 (N) 还要 (adj)]

[比 (N) 更 (adj)] = [比 (N) 更加 (adj)]

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