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There are a lot of vehicles: cars, buses, airplanes, trucks excluding bicycles.
There are a lot of vehicles: cars, buses, airplanes, trucks but bicycles.
There are a lot of vehicles: cars, buses, airplanes, trucks but not bicycles.

Is the sense of these sentences exactly the same?

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We really need more context here to give you a good answer. None of these are actually grammatically correct. To fix this, I'd recommend pluralizing and using but no, so: cars, buses, airplanes, trucks, but no bicycles. But it might be even better to rephrase the whole thing. –  Peter Shor Jun 28 '11 at 20:04
Is that correct now ? –  genesis Jun 28 '11 at 20:20
Do you mean to imply 'bicycles are not vehicles', or 'the vehicles present did not include bicycles'? –  TimLymington Jun 28 '11 at 21:08
I meant that there are a lot of vehicles, just bicycles are missing –  genesis Jun 28 '11 at 21:15
Are all the vehicles motorized? There are a lot of motorized vehicles here, but no bicycles. –  John C Jun 29 '11 at 21:01
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would write this your sentence as:

There are a lot of vehicles — cars, buses, airplanes, trucks — but no bicycles.

Changes from your phrase include:

  1. I changed your colon (:) to a dash (—). Colons work best where you just have a simple list ("cars, buses, airplanes and trucks"), but is less elegant when your list is more complex.
  2. I changed the nouns into their plural form, since I think you mean types of vehicles (cars, buses, and so on) and not one single example of each type (one car, one bus, and so on). If you did mean one of each, the sentence should be "There are a lot of vehicles: a car, a bus, an aeroplane, and a truck, but no bicycle".
  3. I moved the point about the bicycles into its own clause, separating it from the rest of the sentence with separate dashes. I did this because it is something unexpected: since you are particularly pointing out the lack of bicycles, you need to give this importance in your sentence. In fact, you might want to go all the way and break it into two sentences: "There are a lot of vehicles: cars, buses, airplanes, and trucks. There are no bicycles here."
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Great. I just wanted explain sentence like "You can use jquery or javascript but PHP since PHP is server-side" - does that "but" means "excluding" in this case ? –  genesis Jun 28 '11 at 20:18
To me it seems that the word NOT is missing in this sentence, which should read '...jquery or javascript but not PHP since PHP...'. That would explain your confusion. "But + not" is exclusionary. –  Janet Jun 28 '11 at 20:22
Hyphens are for hyphenation. For setting off clauses, you use dashes. I've made the corresponding edits, but your point 3 is still somewhat incorrect: adding the dashes around the clause is one action, not two. But that would be too radical an edit, even for me. Perhaps you could rephrase your answer slightly? –  Marthaª Jun 28 '11 at 21:06
genesis: Janet's answer makes sense to me! Does that work for you? Martha: thanks for correcting me on hyphens and dashes - I'll keep the distinction in mind! I've edited point #3 slightly, but I'm not sure I fully understand your problem with it. Feel free to edit the answer further if you think it's still unclear or incorrect! –  Gaurav Jun 29 '11 at 19:28
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You could try this:

There are a lot of vehicles: cars, buses, airplanes, trucks -- no bicycles though.

Means you don't need the word 'but'

"But" is only exclusive when used with "not" i.e. "but not...." or like this:

All but J.Korns were present at the dinner.

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All but J.Korns were present at the dinner. this is what I'm talking about! It means "Everyone excepts J.Korns (it has to be was, hasn't it?) was present at the dinner –  genesis Jun 28 '11 at 21:28
Yep. Only when "but" is used like that, does it mean "except", otherwise, no –  Thursagen Jun 28 '11 at 21:34
so only in case it'S "All but ----" ? –  genesis Jun 28 '11 at 21:40
Yep. Otherwise, it wouldn't be understood to mean 'except' –  Thursagen Jun 28 '11 at 22:07
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I would call them motor vehicles, which cars, buses, airplanes and trucks all are. But not bicycles.

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"... and trucks all are, but bicycles are not. ..." –  Kris Jan 4 '12 at 6:52
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