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I want to say that I have time to do the homework only on Sunday and on no other day.
So can you help me choose which of the following sentences are considered idiomatic and common for native English-speakers or, if none of my examples is acceptable, suggest what I might say instead?

  1. Except on Sunday, I do not have much time available for doing the homework.
  2. Except for Sunday, I do not have much time available for doing the homework.
  3. Besides Sunday, I do not have much time available for doing the homework.
  4. Other than Sunday, I do not have much time available for doing the homework.
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4 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

From each of your proposed sentences, I would assume that you have lots of time on Sunday, and very little time on any other day. If you want to convey that you have no time at all on any other day, you should say,

"Sunday is the only day when I will have time available to do the homework."

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Actually, none of your example sentences is idiomatic American English. Ironically, however, the first sentence of your question contains your answer: "I have time to do the homework ONLY on Sunday and on no other day". You might want to shorten the sentence to:

I have time to do the homework only on Sunday.

"For doing the homework" sounds a bit strange to me.

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3.Besides Sunday, I do not have much time available for doing the homework.

4.Other than Sunday, I do not have much time available for doing the homework.

Sunday is the only day available for me to do my homework.

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I've hardly ever heard a native English speaker refer to homework as "the homework", unless you're talking about a specific piece of homework.

3 would be acceptable, and 4 sounds the most "native" to me.

I would suggest you rewrite the sentence entirely. As it is, you're using negatives to express what you want which is a bit confusing. I believe a positive would be more effective:

"I have time to do the homework only on Sunday."

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I would change your "I only have time to do the homework on Sunday" to "I have time to do the homework only on Sunday." (There are likely other people besides yourself who also have time to do homework only on Sunday.) –  rhetorician Feb 20 '13 at 1:22
    
Yes, that is a lot better! Edited, thank you. –  Mercy Feb 20 '13 at 1:52
2  
To my British ears the first way ("I only...") sounds more natural. –  Kyudos Feb 20 '13 at 3:50
    
@Kyudos: Interesting. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree agreeably. My Yank ears hear the "I only" as "I am the only one." Can't help it! –  rhetorician Feb 21 '13 at 15:50
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