Google
English-Test.net
Find penpals and make new friends today!
 
to save; to cut back; to be thrifty; to be frugal
economize
perform
practice
prolong
full quiz correct answer
 
Username
Password
 Remember me? 
Search   Album   FAQ   Memberlist   Profile   Private messages   Register   Log in 

How to use 'except' and 'except for'



 
ESL/EFL Worksheets and Handouts for Students Printable, photocopiable, clearly structured
Designed for teachers and individual learners
For use in a classroom, at home, on your PC
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms
damned if he do, damned if he don't | Difference between determine and decide
listening exercisestell a friend
Message
Author
How to use 'except' and 'except for' #1 (permalink) Fri May 21, 2004 16:31 pm   How to use 'except' and 'except for'
 

Hello teachers,

I have been having a problem how to use except / except for properly. I have checked the usage of them on the Internet and in my dictionaries, and even discussed with my English conversation school teacher, but it's just becoming more and more confusing for me.

Explanations are different up to the dictionaries, and the rules how to use them proplerly and naturally are not clear to me. In some sentences it's possible to replace except instead of except for, but in some sentences it's impossible to replace them alternatively. Could you please explain the difference of these, and also give me the rules how to use them naturally and correctly in sentences? If you give me a explanation for reasons why we should follow specific rules(with some examples), I will appreciate it very much.

Thank you for your help in advance.

Kumi
Kumi
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 02 Dec 2003
Posts: 29
Location: Japan

Except #2 (permalink) Fri May 21, 2004 17:26 pm   Except
 

Hi,

An interesting question but difficult to give 'rules' on. I think 'except for' tends to be for people in the first place but that doesn't mean exclusivley for people. Take this sentence, which would be a typical example: Everybody agreed with the proposal except for Sally, who thought it was a stupid idea. Again: The bank is open all day every day except Saturday and Sunday. I hope you can see from this that 'except for' gives the sense of personalizing the noun to which it refers. Another difference is that 'except for' tends to be more specific. Accepting that they both mean 'not including', the addition of 'for' makes the exclusion somehow more pointed.

Hope this helps

Alan
_________________
English as a Second Language
You can read my ESL story Present Simple
Alan
Co-founder
Alan Townend

Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 16543
Location: UK

Can you find all the prepositions in this story?English grammar exercises — improve your English knowledge and vocabulary skillsAre you a native speaker of English? Then you should read this!Learn how to explore English words! Subscribe to free email English course
Thank you! #3 (permalink) Thu May 27, 2004 7:59 am   Thank you!
 

Hi Alan,

Many thanks for your help. Especially for giving me typical examples.
They are very commonly used words but sometimes very confusing. (Need to learn more!) :)
Kumi
I'm new here and I like it ;-)


Joined: 02 Dec 2003
Posts: 29
Location: Japan

How to use 'except' and 'except for' #4 (permalink) Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:46 am   How to use 'except' and 'except for'
 

Hi,

I have the same confusion. For example:

1. there was complete silence except for the sound of someone coughing.
2. New lightweight materials have replaced traditional ones except for certain special uses.

Some test answers said that both the above shouldn't be except, why?

haihao
Haihao
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 26 Oct 2006
Posts: 2471
Location: Japan

How to use 'except' and 'except for' #5 (permalink) Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:31 am   How to use 'except' and 'except for'
 

Hi Haihao,

As you will see from the comments I made over two years ago, 'except for' tends to suggest particular exclusivity. I think if you use 'except' on its own, this is often followed by a general list or a general exclusion. Both your sentences do bear that out by referring to particular exclusions.

A
_________________
English as a Foreign Language
You can read my EFL story Progressive Forms
Alan
Co-founder
Alan Townend

Joined: 27 Sep 2003
Posts: 16543
Location: UK

Good question/good explanation #6 (permalink) Fri Dec 01, 2006 15:46 pm   Good question/good explanation
 

Thank you for the explanation, Alan. Like the other fellow-users here, this has always been a question for me. I think this is becoming clearer to me now.
_________________
Learning is a sacred engagement.
Ahmadov
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 23 Dec 2005
Posts: 312
Location: Azerbaijan

How to use 'except' and 'except for' #7 (permalink) Sun Dec 03, 2006 0:27 am   How to use 'except' and 'except for'
 

As clear as a bell to me, too. Thank you very much, Alan.

haihao
Haihao
I'm a Communicator ;-)


Joined: 26 Oct 2006
Posts: 2471
Location: Japan

Re: Except #8 (permalink) Mon Mar 26, 2012 17:13 pm   Re: Except
 

Hello, I'm not a native speaker but I have a little intuition of how this could work, sth that hasn't been mentioned so far. In most cases I saw, there was except for used with a connection to a predicate whereas except with an object or adverbial, see:

1) Everyone was there except for Sally. (predicate)

2) They stole everything except the television. (object)
The museum is open daily except Monday(s) (adverbial)

I think, in the second case, we can change except to except for to be more specific, but it sounds unnecessary and unnatural to me. Last idea, in every place where another synonym -but- can be used, there the except goes better. (just imo)

Could I be right with this? I don't realy know :)
Palice
New Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2012
Posts: 1

Display posts from previous:   
damned if he do, damned if he don't | Difference between determine and decide
ESL Forum | English Vocabulary, Grammar and Idioms All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1
Latest topics on English Forums
The one & Whatgive somebody the chills?emoticonsTo drive & go by carwe're going to have to have...than I am/doSo much win/For the winI get to answer like I want topresent simple or present progressiveThe Chinese/ The chinesesTense?would rather/had betterWhat does it sound like to you?

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Subscribe to FREE email English course
First name E-mail