Difference between 'no more than' and 'not more than'


I’m a Japanese learner of English, and a newbie of this forum. Actually, I registered just a minute or two ago.

Anyhow, a friend of mine has been telling me that there’s some difference between “no more than” and “not more than” in meaning, but others told me the other way around. Which is correct? I’ve got really confused. If somebody helps me out, it will be much appreciated.

For a starter, I’ve come up with a set of sentences in comparison.

  1. In my opinion, fathers cannot love their children more than mothers do.

2a) In my opinion, fathers can no more love their children than mothers do.
2b) In my opinion, fathers can love their children no more than mothers do.
2c) In my opinion, fathers cannot love their children any more than mothers do.

Many thanks in advance.

Hi Asian Member,

I would say that ‘not more’ is used with quantities that you can measure and ‘no more’ suggests ‘not to a greater extent’.

I would say the clearest sentence is (1) .

The idea of ‘no more’ is used in this sort of context: She could no more lie than she could commit murder + This means that there is little chance of her lying.

‘Not more’ refers to quantity both literally and figuratively as in: They could not do more work that day because it was dark.


Hello Alan,

Thank you so much for your kindest reply. I really appreciate it.
Your comment is a great help.

I think I understand it, but if you don’t mind, I would like to ask the same questions again.
Is there any difference in meaning between the sentences? I am wondering whether any
of them have a terrible interpretation like: Neither fathers nor mothers love their children.

I appreciate your help and patience.