So if somebody asks "Did they have sex more than one time during their married life?"

And the answer is that "They have had sex MORE THAN ONCE while being married" Does 'more than once' mean twice or many times?

I just want to know the meaning of 'more than once' in this answer.


2 Answers 2


With a phrase like "More than once", it's the nuance that is important, not the actual number. It's meant to be a contrast with "Only once". You use this phrase to emphasize that you have done something more than one time, but want to be ambiguous about exactly how many times.

This is why, in your example, it can be funny when properly phrased:

I know they must have had sex more than once in their marriage -- after all, they have three kids.

The evidence suggests that they had sex "more than once", but the joke is the implication they had sex only the three times required for procreation. Since the number is ambiguous, the listener has to "get" the inference.

Again, as with many ambiguous number-related phrases in English, the actual number doesn't matter. Possibly you want to imply something, like it is larger number than it actually is:

A: I know Europe really well. I've been there more than once.
B: Really? How many times have you gone?
A: OK, you got me. I've only been there twice.

Or, possibly, it's been a lot of times and you want to downplay the actual number.

He's been down this marriage road more than once. By now you'd think he'd have figured out he's happier being single.


The two structures "more than one time / more than once" express a higher grade (than that of something else), for "more" is included there.

I have been to Budapest more than once. (I want to emphasise that I have been to Budapest a lot of times, not only once, maybe I also frequent that place)

Therefore "more than one time / more than once" means that something didn't happen only once, but more than a singe time, maybe twice or thrice, or even more.

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