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  1. Over the top's Avatar
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    #1

    only but

    Hello
    What is the difference between only and but
    Nothing is beautiful but you
    Nothing is beaufiful only you

    Thanks

  2. philadelphia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: only but

    *Not a teacher

    As written, I would say the first sentence. The second sentence would be proper if you rephrased it: Nothing is beautiful, only you.

  3. Over the top's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: only but

    Thanks. As spoken, what is the difference between only and but?

  4. philadelphia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: only but

    The same. You could also say: Nothing is beautiful [on earth] except you.

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    #5

    Re: only but

    'But' functions both as a coordinating conjunction and as a preposition**, exemplified respectively in

    I am short, but you are tall.

    and

    No one but me has ever seen him.

    'Only' is typically an adverb, of a type known technically as a restrictive subjunct, meaning that it has mobility within the sentence depending on the scope of its reference, as in

    Only I have seen him.

    (= No one except me...)

    versus e.g.

    I have seen only him.

    (= ...no one except him)

    Additionally, 'only' functions occasionally also as a coordinating conjunction, normally to express a reservation, as in

    I would go and see her, only I'm afraid of her reaction.

    ** N.B. The prepositional use (related to Dutch buiten, 'outside') is actually its earliest function in the English language, predating its use as a conjunction.

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