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except and except for

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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except and except for

Postby T H Cha » Fri Sep 24, 2004 4:30 pm

Dear teacher.

Q. What is the difference between "except" and "except for" ?

Some say they are almost same meaning, but as far as I concerned there is a little different meanig between them.
please let me know.

I'd appreciate your answer.
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Postby Alan » Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:43 am

Yes, they are very similar, but differ in that 'except for' normally introduces an independent adverbial (usually standing at the beginning of a sentence), while 'except' normally introduces an adjectival modifier to an indefinite pronoun (and therefore cannot stand at the beginning of a sentence). Thus we would say,

Except for his drinking, he's a good person.

but

I would do anything except that.
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