More than ≠ 以上


I just learned 以上 which was translated as ‘more than’. However, from I’ve encountered in Japan, it should mean ‘and more’. For example: ‘You get ten per-cent off if you buy more than 3 items’ is different from ‘if you buy 3 and more items’.

I haven’t yet seen 以下, but the same should apply here.

Live long and prosper!

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以上 has quite a few meanings. ‘And more’ and ‘more than’ are both valid meanings.


In what context would ‘more than’ be correct?

If it’s something like 3個以上, yes, it means “3 or more.” And that definition is on WaniKani as a synonym.

If it’s something like それ以上はできない, it means “I can’t do more than that.”



It will take more than an hour to get there.


I take your point.

Question: Is that something that something that applies only to the negative? As in: It means ‘more than’ in negative and ‘and more’ in positive sentences?

The fact that it was negative is unrelated. それ以上できる is a perfectly valid sentence as well.

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I’m not convinced, since that could also be translated as: ‘It will take you an hour and more to get there’.

In any case, thanks for your help! I’m not trying to be difficult, I’m just trying to understand, and ‘more than’ and ‘and more’ simply are different concepts.

I think it’s fairly simple… if you’re counting, then the stated number is inclusive… it’s “greater than or equal.”

If you’re not counting, then it being inclusive doesn’t really make sense.


Aha, so … okay. The Japanese word is simply less accurate then.


Yes and many words have many shades of meanings and usages. You can keep claiming it’s not a valid meaning but you’re not correct. Kenkyusha’s English Dictionary lists ‘more than’ as the first meaning of 以上.

Depending on how precisely someone is measuring time, it could be seen as nonsensical (or highly improbable) for it to take exactly an hour, so I can see “It will take more than an hour” being a reasonable translation based on context.

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Nnnn, I think the intended meaning is different. If I say ‘It will take you an hour and more’ I think it can reasonably be done in an hour, but it might take somewhat longer, too. However, if I say ‘more than an hour’, I’m warning you that an hour will certainly not be enough. So that’s why I was uncinvinced, since that meaning could (but I don’t know and it seems not) also be inferred by the Japanese term 以上.

If you are conceding that @athomasm’s translation is not incorrect then you must also concede that “more than” is a valid meaning.

I would say it’s more than accurate.


Yeah this seems to be all premised on some weird argument that words can’t have multiple meanings or usages. As if Japanese words have only a single, precise 1:1 English translation.


Since nuances don’t align 1:1 between languages, it’s fairly normal two have two sentences that express different nuances in one get translated the same way into the other. Sometimes context makes things clear, sometimes it’s just something the other language “doesn’t care about.”

Like when we just say “sister” or “brother” and Japanese people have to choose “older” or “younger” by default. English inherently “doesn’t care” about the age of siblings relative to each other by default, but Japanese does. So, often a Japanese translator will just have to guess if they can’t corroborate it with something else.


That’s exactly my point. I wanted to know whether Japanese has this distinction, at least in this particular term, and it seems it doesn’t. And that’s completely fine.

Calm down, mate. I never said that. :wink:

But you sort of were. Kenkyusha is a pretty authoritative J-E dictionary and it lists the very meaning you claim is invalid as the first meaning of this word. It’s not as if WK made up the “more than” meaning out of whole cloth. I even used Kenkyusha to avoid the JMDict bias of other dictionaries.