Using 'but' - Orchids The International School
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Concept: Using 'but'


  • A word that is used to connect words, a group of words, or sentences is called conjunctions.
  • They are also known as joining words or connecting words.
  • Conjunctions are a significant part of grammar that allows us to form long sentences with similar or different ideas.
  • The conjunction ‘but’ is used to connect to different ideas.



Have you noticed we joined sentences with the word ‘but’?

Therefore ‘but’ is conjunction.

Use of ‘but’:

1. We use ‘but’ to join sentences expressing different ideas. It is also used to show differences.



Here in these examples, we used the conjunction ‘but’ to join two different ideas. Why?

a) In the first example, the speaker is talking about his liking and disliking. He is expressing two opposite ideas. So, we used ‘but’ to join the two different ideas in the sentences.

b) In the second example, though being ill the person is going to the office. We usually take rest when we are sick. But the person is doing the opposite. Therefore we used ‘but’ to join sentences expressing opposite ideas.

2. The word ‘But’ is a coordinating conjunction like ‘and’. It joins two sentences describing two opposite ideas.



We joined the two sentences expressing two different ideas with the word ‘but’. Both the sentences can express complete thought individually.

Common Mistake:

‘But’ can also be used to mean ‘exception’. Here, we ca n’t use ‘but’ as conjunction.


  • Everyone agreed to go for a picnic but my father.
  • Everyone agreed to go for a picnic except for my father.
  • I don’t share my secrets with anyone but my best friend.
  • I don’t share my secrets with anyone except my best friend.
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