I was reading E.M. Forster's A Room With A View and came across this dialogue:

“Up to now I have never kissed you.” She was as scarlet as if he had put the thing most indelicately. “No—more you have,” she stammered.

I had never encountered this usage of "more" before and have not been able to find it in the dictionaries. In fact, I am not exactly sure what the female character (Lucy) means here: indeed you haven't? You never have? I would appreciate examples with the same usage if possible.

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    Undecipherable except that she's embarassed. Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 15:56
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    I've been trying to track down the original separator (punctuation) between No and more. I think it shows the stammer; I'd use an ellipsis. // I think the 'No more' here is merely [an attempt at] a total agreement, 'That's no more than the honest truth' ... an archaism. 'You haven't, either!' (either ... for that matter – used for emphasis; M-W) Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 16:02
  • Yes, it does make more sense when read as "No more", although still not completely (to my mind) - it would fit well if Cecil (her interlocutor) had said "You have never kissed me" and she replied with "No more have you", meaning, you didn't try to kiss me either, here's the pot calling the kettle black. At any rate, I'm glad to see that the sense is not immediately clear to others either.
    – Smert
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 16:31
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    It's an unusual stylised / poetic / literary usage, where no more is effectively an "intensifier". Lucy's reply is equivalent to Indeed you have not [kissed me]. Perhaps we should simply interpret the unusual phrasing as further evidence that Lucy is embarrassed / confused by this turn of the conversation, so she "stumbles over her words" a bit. Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 16:53
  • @FumbleFingers "Nope, you've done more."
    – tchrist
    Commented Dec 27, 2022 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


Here is the next line in the original on Gutenberg or Google Books:

“Then I ask you—may I now?”

I suspect the implication is that he interjected mid-stammer; "more you have" is most likely the incomplete start of a new sentence.

  • The original? Probably [Project Gutenberg Practices ... Newby: 'In practice, all eBooks published by Project Gutenberg still have errors, even if they are far better than 99% accurate.'] Commented Mar 31, 2023 at 11:21
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    @EdwinAshworth Added a citation to Google Books, which has the same line.
    – alphabet
    Commented Mar 31, 2023 at 13:16

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