mas, ol mas
To express that something has a certain property to a higher degree than something else, place the quantifier mas ‘more’ before an adjective or adverb. The compared entity is introduced using the preposition cem ‘than, as’.
Ya (xi) mas kavi cem (yas) makika. – She is stronger than her brother.
Bal makika lari mas ku sari cem ya. – But the brother runs faster than she.
Determiners such as mas are placed before the adverb marker ku (just as they are placed before verb markers).
Mas can also be used before nouns:
Mas jen li lai cem nas (li) [expect]. – More people came than we had expected.
To express the superlative – a higher degree than everything else – ol mas ‘most’ is used. This can be considered an abbreviation of mas … cem ol otra ‘more than all others’.
Ya (xi) ol mas kavi. – She is the strongest.
men, ol men
The opposite of mas is men ‘less, fewer’.
Ya (xi) men daki cem (yas) nuespos. – He’s less intelligent than his wife.
Men jen li lai cem nas (li) [expect]. – Fewer people came than we had expected.
Ol men ‘least’ is used in the same way as ol mas.
XXX Add example, including the selection preposition (de ‘of’?).
For expressions of equality, tan … cem ‘as … as’ is used:
Ya (xi) tan gau cem (yas) makika. – She’s as tall as her brother.
Ya lari pia tan ku sari cem makika. – She also runs as fast as her brother.
As usual, tan can also be used before nouns:
Tan jen li lai cem nas (li) [expect]. – As many people came as we had expected.
mas ... mas, men ... men
If you want to express that two things change in correlation to each other, you repeat mas before each of them.
Mas garam, mas hau. – The hotter, the better.
Mas malo jen ga miru si, mas hau. – The fewer people will see this, the better.
Either or both instances of mas can be replaced by men as appropriate.
Men [money], men [problem/trouble]. – Less money, fewer problems.