Answers to the question Latin version of "non ho che un" or "je n'ai qu'un" suggest that English more than one can be translated to Latin as plus unum (even though there seem to be other options). This came to me as a surprise and made me wonder:

How would one say one more [apple/battle/electric guitar]?

Before that post I thought the obvious choice was something with unus/-a/-um and plus. But the fact that the comparative (quam) is not needed for more than one makes me think it would be too ambiguous in too many situations, and that there must be a more specific idiom for that.

I am thinking of something more general than iterum, —which would be adequate to mean one more time but nothing else I think— that can be used as a phrasal adjective. Or is it that the natural choice for a Roman would be eat a fruit one more time/pomum iterum manducare instead of eat one more fruit?

(answers from any era are welcome, but the more universal it is, the better)

  • 4
    Some options that come to mind are alter/secundus and novus for adjectives and bis for an adverb. But I don't know what would be idiomatic, so I won't write an answer unless I find attestations.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Aug 14, 2020 at 15:10
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    Joonas llmavirta: I can't find this...All there is, what little there is--"plus unum"-- without attestation. Perhaps it's so simple no textbook writers bothered with it? If I had said to a Roman: "....plus tres (any cardinal number) panes quam heri" = "....three more loaves than yesterday.", how would it have been understood? If it's quick; delightfully simple; readily understood--does it stand without attestation?
    – tony
    Commented Aug 15, 2020 at 13:10
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    @tony The difficulty I see here is that plus tres panes by itself generally means "more than three breads" (the quam being habitually left out with numbers). Commented Aug 15, 2020 at 15:24
  • Sebastian koppehel: Thank you. Latin "panis" can mean "loaf" (Oxford); but, my attempt at a short-cut has failed! I'm looking forward to seeing the answer this this Q., if one appears.
    – tony
    Commented Aug 15, 2020 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


To express the idea of one/two/three/etc. more (of something), you use an ablative to indicate the degree of difference. Therefore, to render 'one more apple' or 'one more battle,' you literally say, 'more apples by one (apple)' or 'more battles by one (battle).' Or, to use the example that tony gives in a comment, you say 'more loaves than yesterday by three (loaves).'

uno plura poma, uno plura proelia, tribus plures panes quam heri

For comparison, here are two examples from Livy, Ab urbe condita:

  • 5.30.7:

    quia non ui agebant sed precibus, et inter preces multa deorum mentio erat, religiosum parti maximae fuit, et legem una plures tribus antiquarunt quam iusserunt.

    Since the patricians used not force but entreaties, and in their entreaties made many a reference to the gods, the greater part felt the prick of conscience, and the law was rejected by one more tribe than voted in its favour.

    [Translation by Benjamin Oliver Foster, from the Perseus website]

  • 22.23.7:

    in permutandis captiuis, quod sic primo Punico bello factum erat, conuenerat inter duces Romanum Poenumque ut, quae pars plus reciperet quam daret, argenti pondo bina et selibras in militem praestaret. ducentis quadraginta septem cum plures Romanus quam Poenus recepisset argentumque pro eis debitum, saepe iactata in senatu re, quoniam non consuluisset patres, tardius erogaretur, inuiolatum ab hoste agrum misso Romam Quinto filio uendidit, fidemque publicam impendio priuato exsoluit.

    In exchanging prisoners the Roman and Phoenician generals had followed the example set in the first Punic war and had agreed that the side which recovered more men than it restored should pay for each two pounds and a half of silver. The Romans recovered two hundred and forty-seven more than the Phoenicians, but the senate, though the matter was often discussed, was slow in voting the money owing for them, on the ground that the dictator had not consulted them; till finally Fabius sent his son Quintus to Rome to sell the farm which the enemy had spared, and discharged the nation's obligation at his own expense.

    [Translation by Foster, from Perseus]

  • Thanks for sorting-out the "three loaves". My last thought on this was it's a lateral-thinker--alternative ways of saying "more" had to be found e.g. "in addimento" = "in addition"; the same meaning given by adverb "insuper" (Oxford). Glosbe "uses of insuper" gives the meaning as "moreover"; "also"; "and".
    – tony
    Commented Aug 16, 2020 at 8:09
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    What happens with numbers that do not decline--"...four more loaves...." would be "...quattuor plures panes quam heri"?
    – tony
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 10:43
  • @tony, It should work the same, but that's a good question. If I think of it, I'll do a corpus search later to try to find an example.
    – cnread
    Commented Aug 17, 2020 at 19:33

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