Persian: more than/less than

Pathawi

Member
English - USAian
I've been teaching myself to read Persian through Wheeler M. Thackston's An Introduction to Persian, & have come across two constructions that appear at first glance to have the same meaning. Thackston writes in §44.5:
'More than' is idiomatically expressed by the numeral expression followed by بيشتر bishtar. 'Less/fewer than' is expressed by the numeral expression followed by كمتر kamtar, as in the following examples.
دو تا قلم بيشتر ندارم. do tâ qalam bishtar nádâram. I don't have more than two pens​
سه هفته بيشتر نمانديم. se hafte bishtar námândim. We didn't stay more than three weeks.​
پنج نفر كمتر آنجا بودند. panj nafar kamtar ânjâ budand. There were fewer than five people there.​
(He does note that the second & third sentences are open to other interpretations, depending on context.) However, elsewhere he gives the following examples:
كمتر از صد تومان به من داد.
اين كشور بيشتر از دويست تا روزنامه دارد.
(The former is from the same section; the latter is from the exercises of chapter twelve.) I gather, then, that both دو تا قلم بيشتر and بيشتر از دو تا قلم are correct. Is that right? Do they have the same usage? Is there any distinction in meaning, or in appropriate context or style?

Much thanks for any advice.
 
  • PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    (The former is from the same section; the latter is from the exercises of chapter twelve.) I gather, then, that both دو تا قلم بيشتر and بيشتر از دو تا قلم are correct. Is that right? Do they have the same usage? Is there any distinction in meaning, or in appropriate context or style?
    The difference/similarity and contextual use, is exactly the same as "two more pens" and "more than two pens" respectively, in English.

    دو تا قلم بيشتر ندارم. do tâ qalam bishtar nádâram. I don't have more than two pens
    Or "I have no more than two pens"
    من بیشتر از دو قلم ندارم is more accurate translation of "I don't have more than two pens"

    There's also contxet to consider
     
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