[updated] nothing less/more than, more often than not...

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Wai_Wai

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Sep 25, 2004
anything but, nothing less/more than, more often than not etc.
I would like to know ""why"" the following phrases have such meanings:
[I know it is difficult to explain though. It would be very grateful if you can try to explain]

- anything but (= definitely not)
-"everything but" (= definitely not)
Does "anything" mean "everything" here? But anything is used with not, like "I don't have anything". So it seems to mean nothing.
I know "But" here is served to mean an exception.

- no/nothing less than (=competely, exactly, surely)
- no/nothing more than (=only, just)
The above means "the same or more than something/that" and "not more than something/that" respectively and literally.
But I can't figure out why "the same or more than something/that" means the same as "completely/exactly/surely".
Why "not more than something/that" = "only/just"?


- more often than not (=meaning??)
I'm confused if the phrase the frequency of "more often than not" is any of the following:
- between "usually" and "often"
- over "usually"
- more or less the same as "usually"

And why does the above mean like that?
 

Casiopea

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Re: anything but, nothing less/more than etc.

Wai_Wai said:
anything but, nothing less/more than etc.
I would like to know why the following phrases have such meanings:
[Maybe it is difficult to explain though :roll: It would be very grateful if you can try to explain]

- anything but (= definitely not)
Does "anything" mean "everything" here? But anything is used with not, like "I don't have anything". So it seems to mean nothing.
I know "But" here is served to mean an exception.

- no/nothing less than (=competely, exactly, surely)
- no/nothing more than (=only, just)

- more often than not (=very usually)

Thanks a lot for your help.

anything but, with the exception of

Waiter: Are you ready to order?
Sam: No. Not yet. Could you give us a minute to decide?
Waiter: OK. By the way, I should let you know that you can have anything on the menu but, with the exception of, the pizza. That's not served until lunch time.

no/nothing less than (exactly the mark or more than the mark)
no/nothing more than (not over the mark)

more often than not (between never and usually; more than never, but not usually).

All the best, :D

All the best, :D
 

Wai_Wai

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Re: anything but, nothing less/more than etc.

Casiopea said:
anything but, with the exception of

Waiter: Are you ready to order?
Sam: No. Not yet. Could you give us a minute to decide?
Waiter: OK. By the way, I should let you know that you can have anything on the menu but, with the exception of, the pizza. That's not served until lunch time.

Understood! :D



no/nothing less than (exactly the mark or more than the mark)
no/nothing more than (not over the mark)

Still couldn't get the idea.
I still can't figure out why "the same or more than something/that" means the same as "completely/exactly/surely".

Why "not more than something/that" = "only/just"? :roll:



more often than not (between never and usually; more than never, but not usually).

So the word "not" here can be perceived as "never". So "having-something" is more often than "not-having-something". So at least the case of "having-something" is more than 50%.

According to Oxford Advanced Dictionary (4th edition), it means "very frequently". Now I'm confused if the phrase "more often than not" is any of the following:
- between "usually" and "often"
- over "usually"
- more or less the same as "usually"


Thanks a lot.
 

Wai_Wai

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2004
Francois said:
If you don't mind, could you consider reducing your tagline? I begin to dream about acronyms ;-)

FRC

Frankly speaking, I will feel sad if I clipped the tagline.
But if this inconvenience you (or any other), I don't mind t clip my tagline (even to none!)
 

Casiopea

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Wai_Wai said:
Frankly speaking, I will feel sad if I clipped the tagline.
But if this inconvenience you (or any other), I don't mind t clip my tagline (even to none!)

Why not try something shorter? What about this? :D
_______________________
Comments are welcome. I am not a native English speaker, so if you see any mistakes please correct them, but please note, if you use choose to use acronyms in your reply, please spell them out. Acronyms can be an inconvenience for language learners, e.g., MB can mean motherboard, megabyte, Bachelor of Medicine, megabyte.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Keep the tagline, but try not to fill too much vertical space- otherwise it makes scrolling down hard work. :lol:
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
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Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
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Current Location
Japan
That's fine- very long signatures, especially where there are a lot can become an imposition. In some forums, most of the screen gets filled with huge sigs, leaving little room for content. ;-)
 

Casiopea

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Wai_Wai said:
Correct me if mistakes are made.

:D Try something like,

_________________
Your comments are perfectly welcome.
I am not a native English speaker, so please correct me if I make any mistakes. If there are typos in my post, it's probably because I type too fast! Also, when I use an acronym in my post, I always spell it out the first time I use it. Acronyms are not only difficult to look up, they can also have more than one meaning. I advocate acronyms be used at a minimum.


All the best, :D
 
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