Would you tell me what BUT means here?

I have no choice but to listen to the doctor.

I think it means "but for", or "other than".

  • 4
    Other than is a good paraphrase. So is except. Apr 13 '14 at 14:07

You cannot use "but for" instead of "but" in this sentence, but "other than" is fine. That said, the construct "no choice but to ..." is much more common than "no choice other than to ...".

If there is any question about the meaning of the sentence, another paraphrase is "To listen to the doctor is my only choice", but you probably would not hear this in casual speech.

  • Yeah the sentence you listed sounds very stiff, I'd probably say "I have no choice but to listen to the doctor", even in a more formal setting.
    – Riolku
    Aug 4 at 20:03

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