1

Can we use 'but' to mean 'and'?

The animal was classified in that category, because people had a hard time classifying it, but (and, although people had a hard time classifying it, because) that category made the most sense for most world-renown experts at that time, before it was put in a different category.

which could be broke down into

because X1, but X2.

which is meant to mean

because X1, and X2 although X1 somewhat contradicts X2.

I've never seen but to be used to reinforce a predicate that's introduced by because.

2

Both "but" and "and" are conjunctions, meaning they are used to join together two independent ideas. As far as I know, every language has some version of these. As with most languages, "but" never means the same thing as "and" as it implies contrast rather than sameness. For example.

He was small and mighty. (he is both of these traits)

He was small but mighty. (in spite of the first trait, he is the second trait)

As in other languages, how much of a contrast depends on the context. It can be so small that either could be used:

I was late to the party, but it was a good thing, because my friends were also late.

I was late to the party, and it was a good thing, because my friends were also late.

Nevertheless, "but" enhances the contrast while "and" diminishes it. In your example sentence, it seems important to create a strong contrast in order for the sentence to make sense:

The animal was originally incorrectly classified, but only because experts at that time agreed it was the best possible fit. Later, it was re-classified according to an updated understanding of its taxonomy.

When you state the assertion in this way, it's clear "and" doesn't fit.

  • I am just wondering if 'but' can substitute 'and because' after a 'because' predicate. – JJJJ Dec 22 '18 at 0:21
0

It depends on the context. here is an example of when these words would be interchangeable:

I punched someone, but I regret this action.

I punched someone, and I regret this action.

It seems that most usages of "but" can be replaced by "and", but, the reverse is not always true. For example:

the oranges and apples are about to go bad

the oranges but apples are about to go bad

See the difference?

  • I am just wondering if 'but' can substitute 'and because' after a 'because' predicate. – JJJJ Dec 22 '18 at 0:21
  • From what I can tell, yes, but the sentence doesn't feel the same. It changes something. I don't know the word for it.. i came here because i had to, and because l like it i came here because i had to, but i like it – CHARLES LEGATES Dec 22 '18 at 23:46

Your Answer

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

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.