823 - というより

JLPT N3: というより

というより is used when saying that there might be a better way to describe something.

Let's just dive right into an example:

わたしにとって里奈ちゃんは、親友というより家族です。
わたし にとって りな ちゃん は、 しんゆう というより かぞく です。
To me, Rina-chan isn’t (just) my best friend. She’s family.
Literally: “I + にとって (=for / to) + Rina-chan + は, + best friend + というより + family + です.”



First, there's an original assertion, phrase, etc. that is not the best way to describe something:  Rina-chan is my best friend.

Then there is a more accurate way of describing it: Rina-chan is (part of my) family.

In Japanese, we can say something like: Rina-chan is my best friend というより (my) family.

In our sentence above, I went with the translation, "To me, Rina-chan isn't (just) my best friend. She's family."

Another possible translation might have been: "(As far as I'm concerned) it'd be more accurate to say that Rina-chan is family than to call her my best friend."

 



Let's try another example:

彼の笑顔は、笑っているというより泣いているように見える。
かれ の えがお は、 わらっている というより ないている ように みえる。
When he smiles, he looks more like he’s crying than smiling.
Literally: “he + の + smiling face + は, + is smiling + というより + is crying + like (=ように) + appears / is seen.”



Imperfect description: He looks like he's smiling.

More accurate description: He looks like he's crying.

He looks like he's smiling というより he looks like he's crying.

 



👷 Construction 👷

We're skipping this part!

...because the particle (e.g. in というより) can come after all kinds of things.

 

Speaking of sentence constructions, it is possible to omit the entire "imperfect description" that comes before というより when it is clear from context.

An example:

 A: 
太一さん、飲まないんですか?
たいち さん、 のまない んです か?
You’re not going to drink, Taichi-san?
Literally: “Taichi-san, + won’t drink + んです + か?”


 B: 
というより、飲めないんです。車で来たので。
というより、 のめない んです。 くるま で きた ので。
I can’t drink. I drove here.
Literally: “というより, + cannot drink + んです. + car + で + came + because (=ので).”
Note: In English, the word "can't" would be stressed. Something similar is being done with the inclusion of というより.


 



In casual sentences, it's possible to say っていうより (often pronounced as ってゆうより) or just ってより instead of というより, as we see in this dialogue:

 Mother: 
あら、もう起きたの?
あら、 もう おきた の?
Oh, you're already up?
Literally: “oh / ah, + already + woke up + の?”


 Child: 
もう起きたってより、まだ寝てない。
もう おきた ってより、 まだ ねてない。
I never went to sleep.
Literally: “already + woke up + ってより, + yet / still + haven’t slept (=am not sleeping).”


 



That's all for this one.

People use this grammar in everyday speech, so I recommend mastering it.