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    #1

    but/except

    I can sleep, play, watch TV, gossip, mope but/except study and read.

    Bare infinitive (study and read) is used, even after but/except, because of the "can" before.

    Am I right about it?
    Thank you.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: but/except

    Except doesn't work here.
    I can x, y, and z, but not a.

    Yes, a would stay in the bare infinitive.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: but/except

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Except doesn't work here.
    I can x, y, and z, but not a.

    Yes, a would stay in the bare infinitive.
    Except doesn't work here because there is no idea of generalization in this context, does it?

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    #4

    Re: but/except

    Would you like to try to write a few sentences with "except" to see?

    For example:
    I like this shirt in all the colors it comes in except that green-yellow one.
    I can meet you any time next week except Thursday afternoon.
    I think a nurse practitioner can do anything a doctor can do except sign with MD after her name.

    Why don't you try a few now?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: but/except

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    I can sleep, play, watch TV, gossip, mope but/except study and read.

    Bare infinitive (study and read) is used, even after but/except, because of the "can" before.

    Am I right about it?
    Thank you.

    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********


    Panicmonger,


    May I respectfully suggest a sentence something like:

    I can do almost anything (sleep, play, gossip, etc.)

    but/except study.

    I think (repeat: think!!!) that there are two explanations for

    the use of the bare infinitive ("study") -- if (repeat: if!!!) I

    understand correctly my books:

    (1) Some older grammars say that "but" and "except" are

    really conjunctions. Thus, that sentence is an ellipsis of:

    I can do almost anything (sleep, play, gossip, etc.)

    but/except [that I do] study. The adverbial clause

    modifies "can do."

    (2) Most grammars probably feel it is more up-to-date to

    construe "but" and "except" as prepositions. Thus, that

    sentence would be an ellipsis of:

    I can do almost anything but/except (to) study. (The infinitive is the

    object of the preposition.)

    For idiomatic reasons, the "to" is often deleted.

    The prepositional phrase modifies "anything."


    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

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    #6

    Re: but/except

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Would you like to try to write a few sentences with "except" to see?

    For example:
    I like this shirt in all the colors it comes in except that green-yellow one.
    I can meet you any time next week except Thursday afternoon.
    I think a nurse practitioner can do anything a doctor can do except sign with MD after her name.

    Why don't you try a few now?
    Thank you, Barb_D.

    These are my try.
    1. I've cleaned the house except for the bathroom.
    2. The garden was empty except for one small bird.

    Do you have something to say about it?
    Thanks.

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    #7

    Re: but/except

    Quote Originally Posted by panicmonger View Post
    Thank you, Barb_D.

    These are my try.
    1. I've cleaned the house except for the bathroom.
    2. The garden was empty except for one small bird.

    Do you have something to say about it?
    Thanks.
    Perfect!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: but/except

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Perfect!
    1. I've cleaned the house except for the bathroom.
    2. The garden was empty except for one small bird.

    Is there an exception to generalization in each sentence?
    Thanks

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    #9

    Re: but/except

    Yes, I understand your question better now. I must not have read it clearly before.

    You're right.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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