1

I would like to know the ways to say something is the only way

Are these correct?

There is no way than to go to a safe place

There is no way except to go to a safe place

You left me no way than telling this to John

We can't do much except to wait

We can't do anything other than to fight

We can do nothing but to fight

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  • 1
    I believe that these are more idiomatic: 1) There is no other way than going to a safe place. 2) There isn't any (other) way except {by going|(to) go} to a safe place. 3) You left me no choice but to tell {John this|this to John}. They are not exhaustive though, and your examples are too marginal for me to judge reliably whether they're incorrect or not. FWIW, I think only #2 is probably okay. Aug 17, 2015 at 12:34
  • @DamkerngT. thank you, your #3 was almost new and useful to me, meanwhile I added some other sentences to the list to make it complete
    – Ahmad
    Aug 17, 2015 at 12:48
  • To 3) I'd probably add "other": You left me no other choice than..., and the last for some reason sounds better to me without the 'to': We can do nothing but fight. Aug 17, 2015 at 13:24
  • There is not any other option except ... X is our only option
    – Cardinal
    Aug 17, 2015 at 14:55

1 Answer 1

2

There is no way than to go to a safe place

I would say "There is no other way than to go to a safe place," or "There is no way other than to go to a safe place." I think this is idiomatic here, as using "There is no" + "than" requires the word "other" either before "than" or "way".

There is no way except to go to a safe place

Sounds good.

You left me no way than telling this to John

Same issue as first sentence. "You left me no other way than..." or "You left me no way other than..."

We can't do much except to wait

I would say "We can't do much except wait." I don't have grammar research to support this, but I believe it is related to answering a question with the use of the modal + do. It is similar to "What can we do? [We can] wait." but not "What can we do? [We can] to wait. We are omitting a complete sentence but keeping the grammatical form intact. Introducing the infinitive makes the sentence ungrammatical so we won't say it like that.

We can't do anything other than to fight

Same issue as the sentence before. I would say "We can't do anything other than fight."

We can do nothing but to fight

Same issue. I would say "We can do nothing but fight."

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  • Thank you, just if there are other ways except (except, other than, but) to say such sentences please let me know.
    – Ahmad
    Aug 18, 2015 at 22:44
  • I can't think of any at the moment. I think if you use "except, other than, but", then there is no other way except to succeed :)
    – rsa
    Aug 19, 2015 at 0:55

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