We met the character 方 when the verb stem was used to say “way” or “method” of doing something (see here). One of its other uses when paired with より is to make comparison sentences, the basic structure of which is as follows:

Summer is hotter than winter.
Bears are bigger than dogs.

Often only hiragana is used for 方.


We need the dictionary form for the first verb and the standard simple past tense for the second.

It’s faster to ride the train rather than go by car.

Putting the final adjective as “good” the structure gives us a logical way of making a suggestion

A をしたほうがいいです。
You should do A.
It’s better to do something and regret it than regret not doing it.

やる is a more colloquial form of する.

In fact, as in English, the first clause is usually omitted because it’s obvious from the context.

You should study rather than not studying.
You should study.

も is sometimes added to より but the meaning is exactly the same. The use of も is slightly more literary.

It’s cheaper to buy online rather than in the shop.
If you don’t know the departure time you should check it.

To make a suggestion in the negative we use the negative tense instead of the simple past.

She’s still mad so I wouldn’t speak with her now.
I think it’s best you don’t drink every day.

In all the example sentences above we end with an adjective. In fact, we can form more complex sentences by replacing the adjective with another clause.

You can learn Japanese quicker if you go drinking with Japanese.
You can better relax on the day if you prepare beforehand.
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