Can I use the phrase cannot but to mean that no other choice is possible in a specific situation?
He could not but jump out of the car. (He had no other possibility. If he hadn't done it, he would probably be dead now)
I cannot but do what he asked me. (If I don't, I'll get into trouble).
Thank you in advance.
Last edited by Englishlanguage; 09-Jun-2007 at 14:52.
Oh, I would have forgotten - the meaning of that phrase is different: to say that somebody can't stop themselves doing something:
When I saw her in that dress, I couldn't help laughing.
I'll try to summarize:
I cannot help doing something
I cannot help but do something
I cannot but do something
So when you use but, you should use infinitive without to (do). Whan you use help without but you should use -ing form (doing). Am I right?