previous next


CONJUNCTIONS. But for "than" after negative comparatives

But in the sense of except frequently follows negative comparatives, where we should use than.

“No more but instruments.

Here two constructions are blended, "Nothing except instruments" and "only instruments; no more." So--

“No more dreadfully but as a drunken sleep.

“The which no sooner had his prowess confirm'd,
But like a man he died.

“I think it be no other but even so.

“No more but that.

“With no worse nor better guard but with a knave.

“Thou knowest no less but all.

Sometimes but follows an adjective qualified by the negative with "so."

“Not so dull but she can learn.

So Chaucer: “I nam but dede,” Knighte's Tale. where, omitting the negative n, we should say "I am but dead."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: