If I just say "more" rather than "more than", does the meaning stay the same?
To "more than make up for something" is an informal expression meaning to create results/provide compensation that is bigger or more valuable than the loss. This expression is used when the offender compensates somebody or something in a way that makes up for the loss, plus extra. Thus, just using the word "more" changes the meaning of the sentence, and the idea of "overly making up for" something is lost. Ex: My father forgot my mother's birthday, but he more than made up for his mistake by planning a romantic date. Ex: The lead runner of the relay team made a mistake when he fell down. However, the last runner more than made up for the loss in time by beating his own record and winning the race in the end.
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