«Has bebido más de la cuenta»: how to use «más que» and «más de»

¿Do you still have problems with  «más de» and «más que»? José explains! (transcription below).

Hello and welcome to Real Spanish!

Are you still not sure when to use «más que» or «más de»? It’s natural, they sound similar but their meanings are different.

We use «más que» in comparisons of people, things, places animals, objects, and even actions. Look at these examples:

  • Susana trabaja más que Pedro. Susanna works more than Pedro.
  • Me gusta cantar más que bailar. I like singing more than dancing.
  • Llevo más tiempo en este negocio que tú. I’ve been in this business longer than you.
  • Me fío de Patricia menos que de su hermana. I trust Patricia less than her sister.


«Más que» is also used to express superiority or inferiority with an adjective or adverb, according to this structure: «más/meno + adjective/adverb + que». For example:

  • Mi hermano es más alto que yo. My brother is taller than me.
  • La tortuga se mueve más lento que la liebre. The tortoise goes more slowly than the hare.
  • Ella habla menos que su hermana. She talks less than her sister.


Another use of «más que» is to express the existence of only one possibility, or of an exception. These examples will help to make this clearer:

  • Nadie más que el guardia de seguridad puede quedarse en la oficina por la noche. Nobody except/other than the security guard can stay in the office at night.
  • No haces más que criticar a tu jefe. You do nothing but criticize your boss.

As for «más de» and «menos de», we use these phrases with numbers and quantities. For example:

  • Tengo más de diez pares de zapatos negros. I have more than 10 pairs of black shoes.
  • Has llegado más de cuantro horas tarde. You’re more than four hours late
  • Más de la mitad de los alumnos llegan al colegio sin haber desayunado. More than half of the students arrive at school without having had breakfast.
  • Menos del 50% de los votantes han votado. Fewer than 50% of the eligible votes have voted.
  • Esta película no es apta para niños de menos de 13 años. This movie is not suitable for children under 13 years of age.


We also use «más de» and «menos de» with relative clauses introduced by «lo que»:  For example: 

  • Como más de lo que te imaginas. I eat more than you think.
  • Tengo menos edad que lo que crees. I am younger than you think.


And before I go, do you know the expression «más de la cuenta»? It means too much, or more than you should. For example

  • Has bebido más de la cuenta, ahora estás muy borracho. You’ve had too much to drink, you are really drunk.
  • Peso más de la cuenta, tengo que adelgazar. I weigh too much, I have to lose weight.

Bye for now!

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