This has done nothing except______ an already delicate situation.

a) to inflame b) inflaming c) inflame

Which one is correct?


1 Answer 1


Answer c is correct.

This is from a book I wrote:

Grammar for the Lesson: the Conjunction Except is Usually Followed by a Bare Infinitive

The word except, when used as a conjunction, is usually followed by an infinitive without to. On the other hand, except for should be followed by a gerund instead of to + infinitive or the infinitive alone.

We could do nothing except wait.

He did nothing except complain.

The baby did nothing but cry.

We could do nothing but wait.

I stayed at home yesterday, except to go swimming.*

Except for swimming, I don't like to exercise.

*You may have noticed that sports and other activities often have a verb that goes before the name of the activity. For example: go swimming, go camping, play rugby, play tennis, play football, do yoga, etc.

  • A is correct too. See here oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/… Check the extra examples. I just copied it from there. Feb 9, 2021 at 12:25
  • The explanation you provided is not satisfactory simply because except can be followed by full infinitive, bare infinitive or verb with ing. The complement of except is usually determined by what comes before. That is, an element in the matrix clause determines what will be used after except. Feb 9, 2021 at 12:28
  • 1) She is interested in everything (except cooking). 2) I don't intend to do anything except (to wait for news). Feb 9, 2021 at 12:30
  • @ModernEnglish Please read my answer again and note the word "usually".
    – Patriot
    Feb 9, 2021 at 12:37
  • There is nothing like this. Except does not usually follow by bare infinitive. It follows by something that the element in matrix clause determines. Feb 9, 2021 at 12:50

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