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Monday, January 28, 2013

I just learned that 'an mezi...an mezi... 'translates 'the more....the more...' Is this construction an alternative way of this? "The more the building shook, the more we held." What about 'mwens...mwens...' "The less you work, the less money you make."

Yes, it can be sometimes be used in this case.

an mezi... an mezi
otan... otan
plis... plis

mezi (measure) better translates as much as 
If we were to take this literally:

1. An mezi bilding nan souke, se an mezi nou te kenbe.

    Otan bilding nan souke, se otan nou te kenbe.

    Plis bilding nan te souke, plis nou te kenbe"
    "The more the building shook, the more we held on."

and yes, you can use mwens in that sense. But it would be hard to use "an mezi" to translate "mwens"
2. Nan peyi etazini, plis ou travay mwens kòb ou fè.
    In the US, the more you work, the less money you make.

3. Tande, mwens ou konnen, plis li pi bon pou ou.
    Listen, the less you know the better it is for you.

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3 comments:

  1. I know that 'mwens...mwens...' don't translate 'an mezi...an mezi...' but is there an alternate construction for 'mwens...mwens...' like there is one for plis...plis...'?

    What about noun-noun constructions?
    -"The larger the paycheck, the greater the purchase."
    -"The lower the rates, the more the borrowers."

    What about adjective-adjective constructions?
    -"The faster the trains are, the more dangerous they are to ride."
    -"The funnier the comic is, the more fun he is to watch."
    -"The prettier the girl is, the more attention she enjoys."

    What about clause-clause constructions?
    -"The higher they rise, the more they benefit."
    -"The older I get, the more I understand."
    -"The higher they rise, the harder they fall."
    -"The older I get, the younger I feel."
    -"The sooner you tell the truth, the better you you will feel about it."

    What about adverb-adverb constructions?
    -"The slower he walked, the more impatiently she scolded him."
    -"The more viciously the dog barked, the more quickly the thief ran."

    By the way, if you didn't already know, these constructions are called Double Comparative. I know this is a lot but I am that kind of guy that likes to learn in bulk and I know other people will love your explanation of these questions. I will say this, this is going to be another "ayayay" for you but I hope it won't be.

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  2. Sorry, they are precisely called Correlative Double Comparative.

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    Replies
    1. Dakò zanmi :)

      In general this is not just about mwens ... mwens or plis ... plis. It is also about expressing a comparative sentence or clause then.

      You will simply find what's called konparatif siperyorite and konparatif enferyorite.

      I cannot think of an alternate word or phrase for mwens ... mwens , but you will use the konparatif siperyorite or konparatif enferyorite based on the sentences that you have.

      And also, as you definitely know, we can't compare English to Creole. Creole has its own grammar. So, these sentences cannot JUST be translated from English to Creole, they will be expressed based on the H. Creole grammar, and the wordage which makes the better sense.

      Thank you for your list of examples! I love examples because they always put things into perspective for me. So let's see how we'd construct your examples in Creole:

      They usually follow this pattern:
      PLIS + SUBJECT + ATTRIBUTE/VERB + OBJECT/ADVERB, PLIS + SUBJECT + ATTRIBUTE/VERB + OBJECT/ADVERB

      "noun-noun constructions" as you have it:
      "The larger the paycheck, the greater the purchase."
      "Plis apwentman an gwo, pi gwo acha ki fèt"

      "The lower the rates, the more the borrowers."
      "Plis tarif yo ba, plis gen moun k'ap prete"


      "about adjective-adjective constructions" as you have it:
      "The faster the trains are, the more dangerous they are to ride."
      "Plis tren yo ale vit, plis yo vin danjere lè w moute yo ."

      "The funnier the comic is, the more fun he is to watch."
      "Plis komedyen an komik, plis li anmizan pou w tande li."

      "The prettier the girl is, the more attention she enjoys."
      "Plis fanm nan bèl, plis yo ba l atansyon."

      "About clause-clause constructions" as you have it:
      "The higher they rise, the more they benefit."
      "Pi wo yo moute, plis yo benefisye."

      "The older I get, the more I understand."
      "Plis mwen gen laj, se plis mwen konprann."

      "The higher they rise, the harder they fall."
      "Pi wo yo moute, se pi di yo tonbe"

      "The older I get, the younger I feel."
      "Plis m'ap vin granmoun, plis mwen santi m jenn."

      "The sooner you tell the truth, the better you you will feel about it."
      "Plis ou di verite a bonè, se plis w'ap santi miyò sou kesyon an."

      "About adverb-adverb constructions" as you have it:
      "The slower he walked, the more impatiently she scolded him."
      "Plis li te mache dousman, se plis li te rale zòrèy li avèk enpasyans."

      "The more viciously the dog barked, the more quickly the thief ran."
      "Plis chen an te fin dechennen ap jape, se plis vòlè a te kouri vit."

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