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    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #1

    The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    http://vva.org/veteran/0607/books.html
    In the article about Pham Xuan An, they said:
    n this first full-length English language biography of Pham Xuan An, Larry Berman explores Ans life sympathetically and with verve. A professor at the University of California, Davis, historian, and author (No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger and Betrayal in Vietnam), Berman is well-equipped for this story. He met An at a dinner in Ho Chi Minh City, became fascinated with him, and made a succession of visits to further their acquaintance. Along the way, he achieved unparalleled access to his subject and became his authorized biographer. The result is fascinating but frustrating.
    What does but mean here in the last sentence?


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    ...and is also...


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #3

    Re: The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    Can we interpret it as however?
    Besides, I haven't seen but means also

  1. heidita's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    Quote Originally Posted by belly_ttt View Post
    Can we interpret it as however?
    Besides, I haven't seen but meaning also
    I believe you are quite right. I would interpret this "but" as however, on the other hand...


    cheers


    • Join Date: Jul 2007
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    #5

    Re: The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    Could you explain to me why we need a gerund here? meaning but not means?

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    #6

    Re: The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    Quote Originally Posted by belly_ttt View Post
    Could you explain to me why we need a gerund here? meaning but not means?
    Because with verbs of perception (see, hear, watch, etc.), the action that the subject perceives another person or object doing is expressed either with a bare infinitive or a gerund, but never an inflected form:

    I saw him come in.
    I saw him coming in.

    The difference is slight, but the infinitive implies that the action is definitely finished.

    Lou


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    #7

    Re: The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    Ok, then it should be correct to use bare infinitive here, shouldn't it?

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    #8

    Re: The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    Quote Originally Posted by belly_ttt View Post
    Ok, then it should be correct to use bare infinitive here, shouldn't it?
    Yes. For me, "Besides, I haven't seen but mean also" is correct.

    Lou

  2. heidita's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    Quote Originally Posted by louhevly View Post
    Yes. For me, "Besides, I haven't seen but mean also" is correct.

    Lou
    Yes, Lou, I agree with this. I mainly made the correction because of the "s" (means)

    cheers


    • Join Date: Jan 2008
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    #10

    Re: The result is fascinating but frustrating.

    The author uses two words to express the result of Pham Xuan An and Larry Berman working together: fascinating, and frustrating. He had to use a conjunction to hold the sentence together, and yes, he could have used and instead. The but here essential does the same job as and, a conjunction, however was used here instead of and because of the difference in connotation: fascinating was positive while frustrating was negative. If it was fantastic instead of frustrating, he would have used and; if it was frivolous instead of fascinating, he would too, have used and.

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