I have read a sentence in “New Concept English”, that is, Harrison had thought of everything except the weather. Here is the context:

Harrison lived in Mediterranean for many years before returning to England. He had no sooner settled down than he started to complain about the weather in England because it is always sunny in the place where he lived before. Harrison had thought of everything except the weather.

My question is that if I can use without in the last sentence. In other words, do you think it is acceptable to say Harrison had thought of everything without the weather? I’m looking forward to know the reasons in detail. Thanks very much.

1 Answer 1


Except is used when some member/s of a set, stated or implied, are excluded for some reason:

all the whole numbers except multiples of 10

all the class except Ann

all birds except penguins

all factors that would affect him ('everything') except the weather.

Without (in the fairly closely related sense) means unaccompanied by / not possessing (usually something one might guess might possibly be present):

all the class (members) without packed lunches

all birds without flippers.

So 'except' (or but or bar) is appropriate here, not 'without' (which is often replaceable by 'lacking').

  • I deeply appreciate your timely help. The explaination really makes sense.
    – user57916
    Nov 27, 2013 at 15:16

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