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    #1

    but

    Hi,

    What does the "but" mean in this sentence?


    I thought their allegations but reasonable.


    Thanks a lot

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    #2

    Re: but

    Hi,

    It's a structure you won't see very often and I think it's a very archaic phrase
    and hence one you should probably avoid.

    If I'm correct I think it's a way of saying, 'I thought their allegations were reasonable, but only just'.

    I'll be interested to see other comments since as I say it's uncommon.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: but

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard1 View Post
    Hi,

    It's a structure you won't see very often and I think it's a very archaic phrase
    and hence one you should probably avoid.

    If I'm correct I think it's a way of saying, 'I thought their allegations were reasonable, but only just'.

    I'll be interested to see other comments since as I say it's uncommon.
    I don't think I've heard of it. Do you have any examples?
    But I agree - avoid it.

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    #4

    Re: but

    Thanks a lot, I asked a foreign friend online, he is teaching in China. He said it meant "anything but", but I couldn't look it up in dictionary.

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    #5

    Re: but

    Hi,

    Yes on reflection I think your friend's interpretation is correct and to be preferred to my original though of 'but only just'.

    Regards

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: but

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard1 View Post
    Hi,

    Yes on reflection I think your friend's interpretation is correct and to be preferred to my original though of 'but only just'.

    Regards
    I'd go with your original idea, "only just".

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: but

    The Corpus of Contemporary American has 173 citations for 'were but', many of them along the lines of 'When you were but a child', suggesting the meaning of 'only, nothing more than'.

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    #8

    Re: but

    So "but" in my original sentence means "only, nothing more than", is it right? Do I still need to strike it out? I mean is it old-fashioned?

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    #9

    Re: but

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverobama View Post
    So "but" in my original sentence means "only, nothing more than", is it right? Do I still need to strike it out? I mean is it old-fashioned?
    It seems old-fashioned to me, and the responses in this thread have shown that the meaning is not clear.

    Personally (and this is a matter for individual choice, not rules), I would either omit 'but' or, possibly, replace it with 'only'

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    #10

    Re: but

    Like this:

    I thought their allegations but reasonable.
    I thought their allegations only reasonable.

    To mean that "their allegations was reasonable"?

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