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I am learning English like a ESL if I write this sentence below I wouldn't use more of. Why did he do it? What does it mean?

This percentage is more of a guideline for what makes a good, informative listing,

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  • Percentage of what?
    – deadrat
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 5:04

2 Answers 2

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"More of " means "to a greater extent or degree". Examples with "than" :

  1. more of a nuisance than it should be
  2. this is more of a request than an order

Examples without "than" ( it is implied) :

  1. He used to be more of an artist, but he no longer finds time to paint = He used to be more of an artist THAN he is now (quora source)
  2. This percentage is more of a guideline for what makes a good, informative listing = This percentage is more of a guideline for what makes a good, informative listing than sth else!

It means this percentage is better when is a guideline for what makes a good listing than sth else

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  • +1. It should be noted that this construction occurs almost exclusively with singular count nouns: "more of a guideline", but not usually *"more of guidelines" or *"more of recommended" or *"more of advice". Also, from what I understand, British people do not use this construction, and find it strange.
    – ruakh
    Commented Jun 14, 2016 at 16:57
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If the responder provides many content items, she will get 100 percent, which is the grade one should aim for. But some listings that do not have many content items will be as successful as those that get the 100 percent grade. Quality, then, may be just as important as quantity.

The writer uses "more of" to downgrade the importance of that 100 percent or quantity. "More of" functions as a corrective to the common sense notion that 100 percent is perfect.

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