There are a lot of particles in Japanese that don’t seem like particles when you first learn them. より (yori) might be one of those for you. I know it was for me. 

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The Japanese Particle Yori(より)

For this جسيم, we will talk about two main uses. However, there is one use that I think is a lot more common than the other use. 

So let’s start with the more common use.


The main way I’ve heard people use Yori(より) is as a جسيم for comparisons.

If you’re looking for a basic structure with this جسيم, it may not be as intuitive for an English speaker. If we want to compare two things, we can use the structure “X wa Y yori Z.” This would mean “X is more Z than Y,” with Z being an الصفة, in the simplest examples. Notice how things get really jumbled up when we translate it to English.

Let’s look at a very simple example using this format. We can say “Hokkaidou wa Okinawa yori samui” (北海道は沖縄より寒い) or “Hokkaido is colder than Okinawa.” We can slap a “desu” at the end to make it مؤدب, but it still fits our very basic XYZ structure. We have two nouns, we compare them with an الصفة

هذه جسيم gets a little more complicated when you are comparing other things, such as full sentences, or if you use a different predicate as the comparison. You could compare full sentences such as “Toshokan de yomu hou ga uchi de yomu yori shizuka desu” (図書館で読む方がうちで読むより静かです) or “Reading at the library is quieter than reading at home.”

You can also add a subject that isn’t part of the comparison, but this can change the structure. If you say “Watashi wa neko yori inu no hou ga السوكي desu” (私は猫より犬の方が好きです), you would first off, be a liar, because cats and dogs are equally great, but you would mean “I like dogs more than cats.” In this one, the subject “watashi” is not a part of the comparison, but one of the topics being compared comes after より. 

Sometimes you can even cut out one of the things your comparing, and use より to mean “than.” You could say “Jitensha de iku yori shikata ga nai” (自転車で行くより仕方がない) or “There’s no other way than to go by bike.” There’s not really anything you’re comparing that to, より(Yori) just takes the meaning of the word “than.” 

I’ve even heard people cut everything from the XYZ structure, except for the Z, because everything else is implied by context. The phrase I hear the most with this is “yori yoi” (より良い) which means “better.” 

In a lot of examples, you can think of より(Yori) as the English “-er than.” Things like “colder than,” “cheaper than,” “quieter than,” or “faster than,” will all use the より structure. But, as you can see from some of our other examples, it’s a bit more broad than that. 

You may have also noticed that noun phrases or full sentences need to come before より(Yori). These sentences are almost always in present plain form (such as “yomu” in our example). However, sometimes you can put a past tense الفعل in front of より(Yori). A good example of this is “Omotta yori hayakatta” (思ったより早かった) or “It was faster than I thought.” 


A Point in Time or Location

The other use of より(Yori) is a bit less common, in my mind. At least, I don’t hear it a lot. But you might, so we’re going to go over it. 

The way this use works is that より(Yori) marks a point in time or a location or even an intangible point of some sort, then tells you where you are or should be in relation to that. I know that sounds confusing, so let’s look at some examples.

When you make an appointment, you may be told “Juuichi ji yori mae ni kite kudasai” (十一時より前に来てください) or “Please come before eleven o’clock.” Eleven o’clock is the point, and “mae ni” is where you should be in relation to it. 

You can do this with location too. You can say “Kanada wa Amerika yori kita ni arimasu” (カナダはアメリカより北にあります) or “Canada is north of the U.S.” In this one, the U.S. is your starting point, and “kita” shows you where you are in relation.

This can be abstract too. Your teacher could say “Hachijutten yori ue wa goukaku desu” (80点より上は合格です) or “A score 80 or above is passing.” 

Sometimes, より(Yori) in these examples can be replaced with から. The only difference is that から always marks a starting point, where より(Yori) can mark a start or an end. So if you change the first sentence to “ato de” (after) instead of “mae ni” (before), you could use から in place of より(Yori). However, since より(Yori) marks an end point in the original sentence, it can’t be replaced with から.  

هذه جسيم was a little tricky for me to get used to. Hopefully these examples help you get it down with no problem. より(Yori) can be a really useful جسيم to know how to use. 

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