but Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “but” in the English Dictionary

"but" in British English

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butconjunction

uk   us   strong /bʌt/ weak /bət/
A1 used to ​introduce an ​addedstatement, 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 ​simpleignorance. The play's good, but not that good - I've ​seenbetter. I'm ​sorry, but I ​think you're ​wrong when you say she did it ​deliberately. Call me ​old-fashioned, but I like ​handwrittenletters. I can ​understand his ​unhappiness. But to ​attemptsuicide! "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).UK He said he hadn't been there, but then (= it is not ​surprising that) he would say that.UK I ​think it's ​true, but then (= it should be ​understood that), I'm no ​expert.

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butpreposition, conjunction

uk   us   strong /bʌt/ weak /bət/
B1 except: Eventually, all but one of them ​promised to come to his ​birthdayparty. He's anything but ​violent (= not ​violent in any way). I would have ​crashed the ​car but foryourwarning. This is the lastepisode but one (= one before the last) of the ​series. She's one of those ​guests who does nothing but ​complain. This ​car has been nothing but ​trouble - it's always ​breaking down!

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butadverb

uk   us   strong /bʌt/ weak /bət/

butnoun

uk   us   strong /bʌt/ weak /bət/
(Definition of but from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"but" in American English

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butconjunction

 us   /bʌt, bət/
  • but conjunction (DIFFERENCE)

used to ​express a ​difference or to ​introduce an ​addedstatement: You can take Route 14 to get there, but it may take you a little ​longer. We ​enjoyedourvacation a lot, but it was ​expensive.

butpreposition

 us   /bʌt, bət/
  • but preposition (EXCEPT)

except: Nobody but ​John was ​willing to ​talk to her. This ​car has been nothing but ​trouble – it’s always ​breaking down!
(Definition of but from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “but”
in Korean 그러나…
in Arabic ولَكِن…
in Malaysian tetapi…
in French mais…
in Russian но…
in Chinese (Traditional) 但是,不過, 而, 相反…
in Italian ma, però…
in Turkish fakat, ancak, ama…
in Polish ale…
in Spanish pero…
in Vietnamese nhưng mà…
in Portuguese mas…
in Thai แต่…
in German aber…
in Catalan però…
in Japanese しかし, だが…
in Chinese (Simplified) 但是,不过, 而, 相反…
in Indonesian tetapi…
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