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Published on: Grammar Bites

How do we use the expression “no más que”?

The expressión “no + verbo + más que” is very common in the Spanish-speaking world, but it can be a little tricky to grasp for non-natives. Let’s break it down and learn how to use it properly!

 

No + verbo + más que = Solamente: 

1.     We usually use this phrase in negative contexts.

2.     It has the same meaning as the word “solamente”.

3.     Unlike ‘solamente’, however, using the expression “no + verbo + más que” indicates a strong negative connotation.

Ejemplos:

  • Estas plantas medicinales no sirven más que para calmar el dolor. These medicinal plants are only good to calm the pain
  • Estas plantas medicinales sirven solamente para calmar el dolor. These medicinal plants will only calm the pain.

 

When used to talk about people, this expression may indicate a bad, poor, or insuficient situation:

  • Ellos no tienen más que una casa sencilla. They have nothing more than a plain house.
  • Ellos tienen solamente una casa sencilla. They only have a plain house.

 

  • Tú no sabes más que sobre historia. You know nothing but history.
  • Tú sabes solamente sobre historia. You only know about history.
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