except

Listen:
 [ɪkˈsɛpt]


WordReference Collins English Usage © 2019
except
You use except to introduce the only thing, person, or group that your main statement does not apply to.
used with a noun phrase
You usually use except in front of a noun phrase.
Anything, except water, is likely to block a sink.
All the boys except Peter started to laugh.
You can use except in front of object pronouns such as me, him, or her, or in front of reflexive pronouns such as himself or herself.
There's nobody except me.
Pedro didn't trust anyone except himself.
Be careful
Don't use except in front of subject pronouns. Don't say, for example, ‘There’s nobody here except I'.
Be careful
Don't confuse except with besides or unless. You use except when you mention something that a statement does not apply to. Besides means ‘in addition to’.
What languages do you know besides Arabic and English?
Be careful
Unless is used to introduce the only situation in which something will take place or be true.
I won't speak to you unless you apologize.
➜ See unless
used with a verb
You can use except in front of a to-infinitive.
I never wanted anything except to be an actor.
She seldom goes out except to go to church.
After do, you can use except in front of an infinitive without to.
There was little I could do except wait.
used with a finite clause
You can use except in front of a finite clause, but only when the clause is introduced by when, while, where, what, or that.
I knew nothing about Judith except what her dad told me.
I can't remember what we ate, except that it was delicious.
Be careful
Don't use ‘except’ immediately in front of a finite verb. Don't say, for example ‘I can’t remember what we ate, except it was delicious'.
‘except for’
You use except for in front of a noun phrase when you are mentioning something that prevents a statement from being completely true.
The classroom was silent, except for the sound of pens on paper.
The room was very cold and, except for Mao, entirely empty.
'except' also found in these entries:
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