In a dictionary, I find a sentence I can’t understand

I tried to persuade him, but with little or no effect.

In this case, I don’t know what a preposition phrase does function in the sentence.

And I guess that a subject and a verb(it is) are omitted after a conjunction ‘but’.

Is it right?

1 Answer 1


This is a quite normal use of a prepostional phrase, and it does have the same meaning as

I tried to persuade him, but it [the attempt to persuade] was with little or no effect.


I tried to persuade him with little or no effect.

with the added implication that the prepostional phrase makes a contrast.

Compare this with similar constructions

This is like your car, but in red.

(the red colour contrasts with your car)

He plays cricket, but on the beach, not on grass.

(we expect cricket on grass, so "on the beach" contrasts with our expectation)

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