In a very recent question: "Más me gusta X entonces Y" construction, a comparison with the following structure is used:

Más me gusta X a Y.

Until now, I've only seen "a" used in comparisons (though it is debatable if the following is a comparison at all) with the verb "preferir":

Prefiero X a Y.

However, for "más" / "menos" comparisons, "que" is the only preposition that applies, as far as I know:

Me gusta más X que Y.
Corre menos Z que W.

Even if the verb is placed in between:

Más me gusta X que Y.
Menos corre Z que W.

After taking a quick look at both the DPD article for "a" and its DLE definition, I didn't see any examples of the usage of "a" as an equivalent of "que" in comparisons like the ones above.

Is it correct to use "a" in place of "que" in comparisons with "más" / "menos"?

  • gustar (de) x más/menos a y no es correcto castellano y no lo he oído ni leído en mi vida. Sólo me retractaré si alguien encuentra evidencia en contrario. – Gustavson Jan 8 '18 at 20:52
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    It has to be a typo. The transcription of the dialogue here: spanishpod101.com/lesson/… says: “Más me gustan las milongas de aquel entonces, que los nuevos tangos de hoy”. – Gustavson Jan 8 '18 at 21:21
  • @Gustavson - I searched for the exact sentence as quoted by the previous OP and found it in Google Books: books.google.com/books?id=TB00DwAAQBAJ. (lower intermediate). Yours is upper intermediate. The Google Books "book" I found doesn't look like a book, and it's pretty awful. – aparente001 Jan 9 '18 at 3:37

As already expressed in the referenced question, the use of "a" instead of "que" is quite uncommon. As a native speaker I don't recognize that use as correct. Under some circumstances it can sound less weird if I imagine "gusta" as a replacement for "prefiero", but that is quite uncommon and you have to tweak the order of the sentence to make that clear.

I would recommend, you stick to the normal use "más/menos que" which is correct and used commonly. These other forms of expressing a comparison will sound weird unless you have a very solid feeling about the language.


I have indeed heard it, although it's not very common.

Más me gusta X a Y.

For example: Más me gusta correr a comer. (I'd rather run than eat.)

Usually heard off from people that did not have formal education.

'a' is a preposition, below are some uses of it in expressions:

  • Tiempo: Llámala a las once. (Time: Call her at eleven.)
  • Causa: A petición del público se cierra el parque. (Cause: Per the publics request the park is being closed.)
  • Precio: Venderá el carro a un dólar. (Price: He/She will sell the car for one dollar.)
  • Medio: Ellos se fueron a pie. (Means: They traveled by foot.)
  • Distancia: De aquí a mi barrio hay ocho kilómetros. (Distance: From here to my neighborhood it is 8 km.)
  • Finalidad: Vine a traer vino. (Purpose: I came to bring wine.)
  • Modo: Dejarás las cosas a medias. (Mode: You will leave things half done.)
  • Lugar: Se movió a la izquierda. (Place: It moved to the left.)

It depends on the verb/construction you use: "prefiero" will let you choose between "a" and "que", but "me gusta más" will require "que" for the comparison.

For instance:

Prefiero correr a caminar. / Prefiero correr que caminar.
Prefiero comer poco a saciarme. / Prefiero comer poco que saciarme.
Me gusta más el pan que el pastel.
(Wrong) *Me gusta más el pan al pastel.

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