Comparisons in Fulfulde primarily utilize the verb ɓurude, which means “to be better (than)” or “to be more (than).” Even when speaking in present tense, you use the positive past tense conjugation for ɓurude (ɓuri) because it is a stative verb. Most comparisons using ɓurude follow this structure:

(Subject A) ana* ɓuri (Subject B) + (infinitive or descriptor word)

Affirmative Examples:

Fulfulde English
Fatomata ana ɓuri Kadiatou ŋarɗude.  Fatomata is prettier than Kadiatou
Hamadoun ana ɓuri Samba waawude defude. Hamadoun is better than Samba at cooking
Aminata ana ɓuri Hawa toowude. Aminata is taller than Hawa. 

         *do not include ana when using subject pronouns

In the second example above, note that to better at an action than someone, you have to use the construction waawude (to be able to) or you can also use andude (to know) + the verb infinitive.

Ɓurude can also be used in the negative. When using ɓurude in negative comparisons, it is conjugated in the positive present (ɓura).

Negative Examples:

Fulfulde English
Bollo ɓura rewɓe Mali ƴellaade. Bollo is worse at carrying water on her head than Malian women. 
Donald Trump ɓura Joe Biden haalude. Donald Trump is worse at speaking than Joe Biden. 

You can also use ɓurude to make implicit and indirect comparisons. Note that when using first and second person personal pronouns (I, you) you only use the stem of ɓurude (ɓur-) and hyphenate, using the object version of the pronoun (mi, ɗa).


Fulfulde English
Rihanna ɓur-mi yiɗude. I like Rihanna better.
Yimɓe Mali, Akon ɓe ɓuri yiɗude. Malians like Akon better.
Hoɗum a ɓur-ɗa yiɗude? What do you like better?

There are other verbs used in comparison as well. Comparisons using other verbs take the following structure:

(Subject A) ana (affirmative/negative past tense conjugation of verb) e (Subject B)

For example, nandude,  which means “to resemble” can be used affirmatively or negatively for both people and objects. In the affirmative, it is conjugated in the positive past. In the negative, it is conjugated using the positive present (just as with ɓurude).

Affirmative Examples:

Fulfulde English 
Minyam debbo ana nandi e am. My little sister looks like me. 
Ngel mobile ana nandi e Mercedes. This car looks like a Mercedes. 

Negative Examples

Fulfulde English
Taylor Swift nanda e Beyonce. Taylor Swift does not look like Beyonce.
Paɗe ma nanda e paɗe am. Your shoes do not look like my shoes.

To communicate that two subjects are similar or the same, you use the following construction:

(Subject A)  e (Subject B) fuu gootum

Fulfulde English
Amerik golle gorko e golle debbo fuu gootum. American men’s work is the same as American women’s work.
‘Mi faamii’ e ‘Miɗo nana,’ fuu gootum? Are “I understand” and “I heard” the same?
Fuu gootum, kaa ana seeri seeɗa. They are the same, but a little different.

In order to say two people or objects are different, you use walda (for the plural it becomes ngalda)

(Subject A) e (Subject B) walda

Fulfulde English
Gawri e bammbaari walda. Millet and corn are different.
Girɓe e laɓe ngalda. Spoons and knives are different.

Vocabulary Bank

Here are a few other vocabulary words that may be useful for comparisons and superlatives.

Fulfulde English Example
hakile smart Aissata ana ɓuri Fati hakile.
moƴƴinde nice Yaya ana ɓuri Amadou moƴƴinde
toowude to be tall Kadiatou ana ɓuri Bolo toowude.
mawnude to be big (is also used for older) Chicago ana ɓuri Madison mawnude.
welude to be sweet/delicious Maangoro Mali ana ɓuri maangoro Mexico welude.
laamude to be sour Lemeru ana ɓuri tamaati laamude.
juutude to be long Mai ana ɓuri Avril juutude.
raɓɓiɗidde to be short Aissa ana ɓuri Aminita raɓɓiɗidde.
saayaade to be kind Sidibe ana ɓuri Coulibaly saayaade na?
bonude to be mean Kanye ana ɓuri Akon bonude.
jalnude to be funny Jim Gaffigan ana ɓuri Dane Cook jalnude.
yaawde to be quick/fast Shalene ana ɓuri Meb yaawde.
taaɗude to be slow Yahnoowo ana ɓuri donnoowo taaɗude.


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