Linked Questions

0
votes
2answers
1k views

Usage of "but" in a sentence. [duplicate]

I'm reading Robinson Crusoe and came across many of these constructions with "but" in it. I can't help but thought they were a little unusual. I don't consider myself fluent in English, that's why I ...
38
votes
5answers
255k views

What is the difference between "nothing but", "anything but", and "everything but"?

What is the difference between these phrases? When is it valid to use which? Should they be avoided as being ambiguous?
65
votes
1answer
153k views

"All but" idiom has two meanings?

Here's two ways I've seen the "all, but" idiom used: "Close all tabs but this one" (Any modern application with a number of tabs might have this as an option.) It means "close all the tabs, but not ...
8
votes
5answers
44k views

"Can’t help but" vs. "can help but"

Is "can’t help but" considered to be a confused mix of the expressions "can but" and "can’t help"? If not, what is the difference between "can help but" and "can’t help but"?
20
votes
2answers
9k views

The construction of "Known but to God"

The Tomb of the Unknown Solider has the engraving "KNOWN BUT TO GOD", as presumably no man knows his name, but shouldn't it read "unknown, but to God", as the default for everyone is "unknown", with ...
19
votes
3answers
11k views

"to be all but X"

What does "all but" mean in this expression? Today, under pressure from P2P distribution, optical disc piracy in wealthy countries is "all but eliminated" and profit margins ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

Specific usage of the word 'but'

The Aesop's Fables translated by George Fyler Townsend book has a line which reads as follows: ... If you had but touched me, my friend, you ... I've seen the word 'but' used this way a couple of ...
1
vote
1answer
10k views

"But Only" - How to Figure Out the Meaning?

I first cite the definitions of "but" as an adverb or preposition: adverb : no more than; only. Preposition: except; apart from; other than: Could someone please elucidate/explicate but only below? ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between "but" and "nothing but"

Every now and then I stumble about a construction like this: It was but something.... and I understand it to be It was nothing but.... or It was only... depending on the context. I do ...
-1
votes
1answer
424 views

Problem with the usage of "but" [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Specific usage of the word 'but' Interpreting the meaning of 'but' as an implication for exclusion/inclusion “nothing but” vs. “anything but” vs. “everything but” ...