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Thread: but?

  1. #1
    emeraude is offline Newbie
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    but?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here and was unable to find the answer to my question in prevous posts.

    I'm sorry but I don't remember his name.
    I'm sorry but I don't know what you mean.
    I'm sorry but I didn't catch it.

    I'm sorry I don't remember his name.
    I'm sorry I don't know what you mean.
    I'm sorry I didn't catch it.


    Do I need to use "but" or can I omit it? If I need to use it, why?

    Thanks for your help!
    Emeraude

  2. #2
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: but?

    1. You can substitute 'that' for 'but' without changing the meaning and the structure of the sentence.
    2. You can omit 'that' after certain adjectives, including 'sorry'.

    --> You can drop 'but'.

  3. #3
    emeraude is offline Newbie
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    Re: but?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    1. You can substitute 'that' for 'but' without changing the meaning and the structure of the sentence.
    2. You can omit 'that' after certain adjectives, including 'sorry'.

    --> You can drop 'but'.
    Hi Corum,

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Pepperoni Papaya is offline Newbie
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    Re: but?

    Hi, I'm just curious. I always wonder why many people in this forum have to ask question about their own native language... don't you use it every day? ^^

  5. #5
    corum is offline Banned
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    Re: but?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pepperoni Papaya View Post
    Hi, I'm just curious. I always wonder why many people in this forum have to ask question about their own native language... don't you use it every day? ^^
    They just want to know whether they are using it correctly. Would you pass a language test on correct usage in your own mother tongue with 100%?

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: but?

    Quote Originally Posted by emeraude View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here and was unable to find the answer to my question in prevous posts.

    I'm sorry but I don't remember his name.
    I'm sorry but I don't know what you mean.
    I'm sorry but I didn't catch it.

    I'm sorry I don't remember his name.
    I'm sorry I don't know what you mean.
    I'm sorry I didn't catch it.


    Do I need to use "but" or can I omit it? If I need to use it, why?

    Thanks for your help!
    Emeraude
    You can drop 'but', but you should add a semicolon (some people would accept a comma).
    "I'm sorry; I don't remember his name."
    The way you've written it means, "I'm sorry that I don't remember his name". That might be true, but it's not exactly what you mean.

    There's also a difference between:
    "I'm sorry I offended you." and
    "I'm sorry; I offended you." - which mean basically, "[I think] I offended you. I'm sorry."



  7. #7
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Re: but?

    Quote Originally Posted by emeraude View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I'm new here and was unable to find the answer to my question in prevous posts.

    I'm sorry but I don't remember his name.
    I'm sorry but I don't know what you mean.
    I'm sorry but I didn't catch it.

    I'm sorry I don't remember his name.
    I'm sorry I don't know what you mean.
    I'm sorry I didn't catch it.


    Do I need to use "but" or can I omit it? If I need to use it, why?

    Thanks for your help!
    Emeraude
    You can omit 'but' in speech with a pause (and, I'd say, rising intonation on the -ry syllable), in writing with a comma (certain other types of punctuation, eg dash or exclamation mark, are also possible - it really depends on your preference and how you say it).

    You can also simply omit 'but' instead of replacing 'but' with 'that'.

    So, eg:

    'I'm sorry, I don't remember his name!' = I'm sorry but I don't remember his name

    'I'm sorry I don't remember his name.' = I'm sorry that I don't remember his name

    Here, the first sentence seems more natural (although context matters) and, as you see, I'd personally use an exclamation mark at the end of this sentence. On the other hand, I'd write 'I'm sorry I didn't catch the ball' without punctuation after 'sorry'. As to why - well, that's another question not asked here and I'll leave it there for my contribution.

    [PS: posted at the same time as Raymott's response, which I didn't see]
    Last edited by bertietheblue; 14-Jun-2010 at 09:24.

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