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    #1

    Using "but"

    Hi, can someone please, please help me about using "but". I can only find information about commas and "but" at the beginning of a sentence. What I need to know is:-

    How do I know when to put "to" after "but" is it only when the sentence has "do"?

    I found: "I want nothing but to go home."
    "I want to do nothing, but go home."

    How do I know when I need a subject after "but".

    I found: "Alex had provided the money to remodel the home, but insisted that it stay in her name only."
    "The statement was true, and it helped him, but he didn't want help."

    How do I know when to use a gerund or infinitive after but?

    Sorry to ask so much, but I hope someone can help me. (I think I need "I" in this sentence, but why?)

    Thanks!

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    #2

    Re: Using "but"

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne59 View Post

    Sorry to ask so much, but I hope someone can help me. (I think I need "I" in this sentence, but why?)







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


    Hello, Anne:

    IF (a big "if") I understand my books, you do NOT "need" to say / write "I."

    Look at this sentence from a very respected guide to correct English * :

    "We fished all day, but (we) didn't catch a thing."

    As you know, when a word is put in parentheses, that means that the word is optional. In formal speaking or writing, it would probably be a very good idea to repeat the subject "we."

    So -- in my opinion -- your sentence is acceptable in ordinary speech and writing:

    "(I am) sorry to ask so much, but (I) hope (that) someone can help me."



    James


    * L.G. Alexander, Longman English Grammar (1988), page 10.

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    #3

    Re: Using "but"

    Thank you Parser, so that is one thing I don't need to try to remember, I can leave out the subject if I want.

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    #4

    Re: Using "but"

    My English friend told me that I need "he" in the following sentence.

    "The statement was true, and it helped him, but he didn't want help."

    Is she not correct?

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    #5

    Re: Using "but"

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne59 View Post
    My English friend told me that I need "he" in the following sentence.

    "The statement was true, and it helped him, but he didn't want help."

    Is she not correct?
    Hello, Anne.
    I think she is correct.
    What do you think about the sentence below?

    It helped him but didn't want help.

    Don't you think it sounds/looks strange?
    To me, it looks as if the subject of the 'didn't want help' part were 'It'.

    Last edited by tzfujimino; 17-Oct-2014 at 17:11.

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    #6

    Re: Using "but"

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne59 View Post
    Thank you Parser, so that is one thing I don't need to try to remember, I can leave out the subject if I want.
    If the subject is the same as the earlier verbs.

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    #7

    Re: Using "but"

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne59 View Post
    My English friend told me that I need "he" in the following sentence.

    "The statement was true, and it helped him, but he didn't want help."

    Is she not correct?
    She is correct. You need to use the subject if the subject is different than the subject of the earlier verb. How else would we know?

    If you omit "he" then "it" (the statement) is the assumed subject. Then your sentence makes no sense.

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    #8

    Re: Using "but"

    Hello tzfujimino

    Yes I think - who didn't want help.

    Does that mean if there is a subject and an object and they are different, I need to put a subject after but so that people know who I'm talking about?

    Thanks for your help!

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    #9

    Re: Using "but"

    You need to supply a subject for every verb. Unless it is obvious.

    "I ran out of the house, jumped in the car, and drove to work." -- it is obvious that "I" is the subject of all of those verbs.

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    #10

    Re: Using "but"

    Thank you everyone! I really appreciate all your help!

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