0

I have some doubts about the word "but" in this sentence:

It is incomprehensible for all but most knowledgeable people.

I guess it means something is incomprehensible for all people except most knowledgeable people. Can you explain fully?

1

Your interpretation is absolutely correct!

The phrase 'all but the most knowledgeable people' could be restated as 'everyone except the most knowledgeable people'.

The idiomatic phrase 'all but' in this context is equivalent 'all except', so you could say something like 'Delete all emails but this one' (i.e. delete all emails except this one) or 'all but one person was undecided' (i.e. everyone except one person was undecided).

However, it is necessary to take caution as 'all but' can also be used to mean 'very nearly' or 'almost' when followed by an adjective or description, such as in the following:

The document was all but incomprehensible

which suggests that the document was practically or very nearly incomprehensible.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy