From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishbutbut1 /bət; strong bʌt/ ●●●S1W1 conjunction1BUTused to connect two statements or phrases when the second one adds something different or seems surprising after the first oneIt’s an old car, but it’s very reliable.They rushed to the hospital, but they were too late.We’ve invited the boss, but she may decide not to come.an expensive but extremely useful book‘Has he got any experience?’ ‘No, but he’s keen to learn.’2BUTused to introduce a statement that explainswhy the thing you have mentioned did not happen or is not possibleI’d like to go but I’m too busy.They would have married sooner, but they had to wait for her divorce.3BUTused after a negative to emphasize that it is the second part of the sentence that is trueHe lied to the court not just once, but on several occasions.The purpose of the scheme is not to help the employers but to provide work for young people.4exceptWhat can we do but sit and wait?I had no choice but to accept the challenge.Not a day goes by but I think of dear old Larry (=I think of him every day).► see thesaurus at except5 →but for6 →but then (again)7XX spoken used when you are replying to someone and expressingstrongfeelings such as anger, surprise etcBut that’s marvellous news!‘They won’t even discuss the problem.’ ‘But how stupid!’8 →somebody cannot but do something9 spoken used when disagreeing with someone‘It was a good idea.’ ‘But it didn’t work.’10EMPHASIZE spoken used to emphasize a word or statementIt’ll be a great party – everyone, but everyone, is coming.They’re rich, but I mean rich.11INTRODUCE spoken used to change the subject of a conversationBut now to the main question.But tell me, are you really planning to retire?12 spoken used after expressions such as ‘Excuse me’ and ‘I’msorry’Excuse me, but I’m afraid this is a no-smoking area.THESAURUSbut conjunction used when linking two words or phrases that seem opposite or very different in meaning. Don’t use but at the beginning of a sentence in written EnglishThe plant’s leaves are big, but its flowers are quite small.Her books are fascinating but often rather disturbing.Many French dishes are basically simple, but they can take a long time to prepare.Most of us value human life, but but some people think of animals as being equally important.although conjunction used when contrasting one clause with another in the same sentenceAlthough you are in the middle of the city, you feel as if you are in the countryside.The windmill is still in good working order, although it has not been used since the 1950s.I enjoyed German although I wasn’t very good at it.Although lack of sleep causes some problems, it has a relatively small effect on performance at work.however conjunction used when saying something that seems different or surprising after your previous statement. It is usually used in the middle of a sentence, separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. It can also come at the beginningJack and his family managed to escape before the soldiers arrived. Other families in the village, however, were less lucky.Their economy was incredibly successful in the 1980s. Since then, however, there has been a big rise in unemployment.The town is a long way from the nearest big city. However, there is a good bus service.He began his academic career as a mathematician. However, his main achievements were in the field of nuclear physics.nevertheless/nonetheless conjunction used when saying something that seems different or surprising after your previous statement. It is used at the beginning or end of a sentenceA series of studies 20 years ago suggested that there was a link between watching violent films and violent behaviour. Nevertheless, the results remain highly controversial.It was certainly a terrible accident. Nevertheless, air travel is still the safest form of transport.The weather turned bad early in the day, but the festival was a great success nonetheless.It was very hard digging in the dry ground, but the work was satisfying nevertheless.while/whereas /weərˈæz/ conjunction used when making comparisons and saying that something is true of one person, thing, or situation, but it is different for another. They are used when contrasting one clause with another in the same sentenceTaxes make up 62% of the price of a litre of petrol in France, whereas in Britain, the tax is 75%.Some people visit their doctor once every few weeks, while others may not visit a doctor for several years.Whereas in most of the world they drive on the right, in the UK and Japan they drive on the left.by contrast formal used when making comparisons and saying that a person, thing, or situation is very different from the one you have just mentioned. It is used when referring back to the previous sentenceThe surface temperature on Venus is higher than the boiling point of water. Mars, by contrast, is very cold.A report by the FBI shows that 26% of female murder victims in 1995 were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. By contrast, only 3% of male victims were killed by their wives or girlfriends.
but• There was nothing left but a few dried up sandwiches.• Anyone butTommy would have realized I was trying to apologize.• I can come and see you any day butTuesday.butbut3 adverbBUTonlyThis is but one example of what can happen when things go badly wrong.It’s going to be difficult. Anyway, we can but try.We have relationships of many different sorts – with our children, our parents, our boss and our friends, to name but a few.