Nothing But & Anything But – English Vocabulary Lesson

Michael Confusing Words 2 Comments

I’ve had nothing but trouble with my laptop. It’s always breaking down. It is anything but reliable. I think it is time for a new one.  When we use the word but after nothing and anything, there is a special meaning for each collocation. Today, I’m going to teach you how to use these useful phrases in English.

Nothing but means a lot of. The grammar is nothing but + noun (or) nothing but + noun phrase. We often use nothing but when we complain about something or talk about the negative aspects of something, but you can use nothing but when we talk about positive situations or things:

  • Jack’s son is nothing but trouble. Jack’s son always causes problems.
  • We had nothing but problems on our vacation. We had a lot of problems on our vacation.
  • I have nothing but good things to say about my new job. I like my new job!

Anything but means entirely not. The grammar is usually anything but + adjective and sometimes anything + noun.  We generally use anything but when we complain about something or talk about the negative aspects of something:

  • His story was anything but true.
  • Jack was anything but on time for work.
  • I was anything but happy to hear that news from her.

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

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