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    #1

    rewrite the sentence

    Rewrite the sentence (must use the word "but"):
    "All the people in Japan speak Japanese"
    ->There is..................

    Answer in key: There is no one but speaks Japanese in Japan
    My answer: There is but no one in Japan who doesn't speak Japanese

    Is my answer acceptable? If not then why? All 3 sentences seem to have the same meaning to me.

  1. BrunaBC's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: rewrite the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by vkhu View Post
    Rewrite the sentence (must use the word "but"):
    "All the people in Japan speak Japanese"
    ->There is..................

    Answer in key: There is no one but speaks Japanese in Japan
    My answer: There is but no one in Japan who doesn't speak Japanese

    Is my answer acceptable? If not then why? All 3 sentences seem to have the same meaning to me.
    I'm not a teacher, but the sentence in blue sounds weird to my ears.
    Last edited by BrunaBC; 25-May-2012 at 05:44. Reason: typo
    Not a teacher.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: rewrite the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by vkhu View Post
    There is no one but speaks Japanese in Japan
    There is but no one in Japan who doesn't speak Japanese
    Neither of these is natural English.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: rewrite the sentence

    The answer in the key is very unnatural. If I had to use "but" and keep the meaning I would say "All the people in Japan speak no language but Japanese." I should point out that a) that's still an unlikely sentence and b) it's obviously untrue!

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    #5

    Re: rewrite the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Neither of these is natural English.
    I swear I have seen the word "but" used to emphasize something (for example: "we are but mayflies"). So couldn't my answer be understood as "There's absolutely no one in Japan who doesn't speak Japanese"?

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: rewrite the sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by vkhu View Post
    I swear I have seen the word "but" used to emphasize something (for example: "we are but mayflies"). So couldn't my answer be understood as "There's absolutely no one in Japan who doesn't speak Japanese"?
    No, it couldn't.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: rewrite the sentence

    In all honestly, skip this exercise.

    This use of "but" happens, but it's not common, and your ability to speak and understand English will not be dimished by your inability to form natural sentences. That is most likely because in modern English, many of these "but" sentences no longer sound natural.

    Two fairly common ways to use it:
    Are we but [nouns]? -- A (rhetorical, usually) question that means "Are we no more than [nouns]?" or "Are we no better than [nouns]?"

    I could but state -- I could do nothing else except stare. (I couldn't speak, run away, interfere, etc.)
    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.

  6. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: rewrite the sentence

    Using "but" to mean "except" is more commonly used when referring to people and things, in BrE.

    - Who do you think will win the lottery?
    - Anyone but me.

    - What do you want for dinner?
    - Anything but pizza.

    It can be used in the context you quoted in your original post, but the wording is usually more informal:

    - What language do people speak in Japan?
    - I don't know anyone who speaks anything but Japanese.

    (A more likely response would be "They only speak Japanese".)

  7. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: rewrite the sentence

    I competely agree - but I'm at a loss as to how to pair that with a sentence that starts "there is..."

    (And now I want pizza!)
    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.

  8. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: rewrite the sentence

    There is no-one here but me.

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