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English definition of “but”


conjunction     strong /bʌt/ weak /bət/
A1 used to introduce an added statement, usually something that is different from what you have said before: She's very hard-working but not very imaginative. This is not caused by evil, but by simple ignorance. The play's good, but not that good - I've seen better. I'm sorry, but I think you're wrong when you say she did it deliberately. Call me old-fashioned, but I like handwritten letters. I can understand his unhappiness. But to attempt suicide! "She said she's leaving." "But why?" You can invite Keith to the party, but please don't ask that friend of his. We must not complain about the problem, but (= instead we must) help to put it right. She's not a painter but a writer (= she is a writer, not a painter). She's not only a painter but also a writer (= she is both). He said he hadn't been there, but then (= it is not surprising that) he would say that. I think it's true, but then (= it should be understood that), I'm no expert.Connecting words which express a contrast Grammar:ButBut is a conjunction.See moreGrammar:But as a linking wordWe use but to link items which are the same grammatical type (coordinating conjunction). But is used to connect ideas that contrast.See moreGrammar:But meaning ‘except’But means ‘except’ when it is used after words such as all, everything/nothing, everyone/no one, everybody/nobody:See moreGrammar:But for + reasonBut for is used to introduce the reason why something didn’t happen:See moreGrammar:All but meaning ‘almost completely’See moreGrammar:Conjunctions: contrastingThe conjunctions but and although/though connect ideas that contrast. Whereas is also used but it is not as common:See moreGrammar:ButBut is a coordinating conjunction used to connect ideas that contrast. Coordinating conjunctions connect items which are the same grammatical type.See moreGrammar:Although/thoughAlthough/though can be used to contrast ideas. Although/though are subordinating conjunctions used to connect a subordinate clause to a main clause, like after, as, before, if, since, that, even though, even if.See moreGrammar:But or although?But cannot be used in the same way as although/though. We use but to connect items which are the same grammatical type (coordinating conjunction).See moreGrammar:Even though, even ifEven though and even if are also used as subordinating conjunctions in the same way as although/though. Even though is similar to although but it makes a stronger contrast:See moreGrammar:Conjunctions: typical errors[from a brochure advertising an English course in London]See more
(Definition of but conjunction from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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