AskDefine | Define but

Dictionary Definition

but adv : and nothing more; "I was merely asking"; "it is simply a matter of time"; "just a scratch"; "he was only a child"; "hopes that last but a moment" [syn: merely, simply, just, only]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Etymology

būtan, corresponding to "by + out".

Pronunciation

Preposition

  1. In the context of "obsolete|except in Scots": Outside of, without.
    Away but the hoose and tell me whae's there.

Adverb

  1. Merely, only.
    Since that day, my mood has changed but a little.

Conjunction

  1. Except (for), excluding.
    I like everything but that. I have no choice but to leave.
  2. However, on the contrary (introducing a word or clause that contrasts with or contradicts the preceding clause or sentence).
    I am not rich but poor. You told me I could do that but she said that I could not.
  3. Although, nevertheless (implies that the following clause is contrary to prior belief).
    She is very old, but still attractive.

Usage notes

  • Beginning a sentence with but or any other conjunction is considered incorrect by classical grammarians, but use of the word in this way is very common. It is however best to avoid beginning a sentence with but in formal writing.

Derived terms

Translations

except
however
although

Noun

  1. An instance or example of using the word "but"
    It has to be done – no ifs or buts.
  2. The outer room of a small two-room cottage.

Anagrams

Bosnian

Noun

but (p: butovi)

Croatian

Noun

  1. thigh
  2. ham

Declension

Danish

Etymology

Adjective

but

Synonyms

Antonyms

French

Pronunciation

  • /by(t)/

Noun

but

Synonyms

Verb form

but
  1. Third-person singular indicative simple past of boire.

See also

Polish

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. shoe
  2. boot

Declension

Romani

Adjective

but (comparative majbut, superlative legmajbut)

Scots

Noun

  1. The outer room of a small two-room cottage.

Preposition

  1. Outside of, without.

Serbian

Noun

but (p: butovi)

Cyrillic spelling

Turkish

Noun

but

Extensive Definition

In grammar, a conjunction is a part of speech that connects two words, phrases or clauses together. This definition may overlap with that of other parts of speech, so what constitutes a "conjunction" should be defined for each language. In general, a conjunction is an invariable grammatical particle, and it may or may not stand between the items it conjoins.
The definition can also be extended to idiomatic phrases that behave as a unit with the same function as a single-word conjunction (as well as, provided that, etc.).

Types of conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions, also called coordinators, are conjunctions that join two items of equal syntactic importance. The traditional view holds that the English coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so (which form the mnemonic FANBOYS). Note that there are good reasons to argue that only and, but, and or are prototypical coordinators, while nor is very close. So and yet share more properties with a conjunctive adverb (e.g., however), and "for...lack(s) most of the properties distinguishing prototypical coordinators from prepositions with clausal complements" . Furthermore, there are other ways to coordinate independent clauses in English. In the English language, coordinating conjunctions should not be used at the beginning of a sentence.
Correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions that work together to coordinate two items. English examples include both … and, (n)either … (n)or, and not (only) … but (also)....
Subordinating conjunctions, also called subordinators, are conjunctions that introduce a dependent clause. English examples include after, although, if, unless, so that, and because. Complementizers can be considered to be special subordinating conjunctions that introduce complement clauses (e.g., "I wonder whether he'll be late. I hope that he'll be on time"). Some subordinating conjunctions (although, before, until, while), when used to introduce a phrase instead of a full clause, become prepositions with identical meanings.
In many verb-final languages, subordinate clauses must precede the main clause on which they depend. The equivalents to the subordinating conjunctions of non-verb-final languages such as English are either
  • clause-final conjunctions (e.g. in Japanese) or;
  • suffixes attached to the verb and not separate words
but in Breton: Stagell
but in German: Konjunktion
but in Esperanto: Konjunkcio (gramatiko)
but in Spanish: Conjunción (gramática)
but in French: Conjonction (grammaire)
but in Scottish Gaelic: Naisgear
but in Italian: Congiunzione (grammatica)
but in Icelandic: Samtenging
but in Norwegian: Konjunksjon
but in Polish: Spójnik
but in Russian: Союз (часть речи)
but in Swedish: Konjunktion (ordklass)
but in Japanese: 接続詞

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

after all, again, albeit, all the same, alone, although, aside from, at all events, at any rate, bar, barring, besides, entirely, even, even so, except, except that, excepting, excluding, exclusively, for all that, howbeit, however, if not, in any case, in any event, just the same, merely, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, only, outside of, rather, save, saving, simply, solely, still, though, unless, unless that, were it not, when, without, yet
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