Take a look at this example:

She might affect ignorance but don't be taken in because there's more to her than meets the eye.

Why to is used? The sentence clearly means that she has something of her personality you can't notice immediately. However it sounds a bit strange to me since in that context I would have used in or of, which I think give a better sense of "that hidden thing" owned by her personality. What tricks me is that, to my sense, the preposition to represents a one-way like concept, going from one point to another (e.g. "Give it to me", "I went to Rome", "Tell the truth to the police",...), while in that sentence nothing is moving "through to"; the preposition is kind of descriping a quality of the girl.

Is there a grammatical explanation? Are there other examples of this peculiar use of to?

  • 1
    There's more to her, that's why I don't get her. Get is another somewhat related word that doesn't seem logical. They both have the flavor of relatively modern slang.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 11:19
  • 3
    to in the sense of respecting, with respect to, regarding, about. And that's all there is to it! (an expression which has been around for well over a hundred years).
    – TimR
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 12:35
  • That's an idiom or at least it comes from one, and as TRomano said it's an old one. With Google you can find a similar phrase in a book from 1908 and the Ngram Viewer shows the "there's more to it" as far back as the 1830s. It certainly has an etymology but I think we'd need a proper etymologist to find out about it.
    – Korvin
    Commented Mar 4, 2017 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


One of the meanings of "to"(a preposition) is Concerning; regarding.

"There's more to somebody/"something" can be met in idioms:

more (to somebody/something) than meets the eye

more interesting or complicated than someone or something appears at first

There is more to her death than meets the eye - she was probably murdered. There must be more to him than meets the eye, or else why would she be interested in him?


According to the Cambridge Dictionary, one of the possible usages of to is as a preposition meaning in connection with. The intended meaning is therefore 'There is more intelligence connected with her than is immediately apparent'.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .