Firstly, if you are wondering what part of speech BUT is, most people know that at A1, But is usually a conjunction between words, phrases, or clauses related to contrast.
The frequency of but_CCB in the 14 billion iWeb corpus = 51130684
BUT is also used in complex adverbial phrases. At C2, ALL BUT = very nearly / almost
Much of the region remains all but invisible.
* all_RR21 but_RR22 *
HAS ALL BUT DISAPPEARED 706
IS ALL BUT IMPOSSIBLE 643
IS ALL BUT GUARANTEED 357
ALL BUT can also be similar to EXCEPT.
All but one of the expeditions either died at the hands of the natives, or returned empty-handed.
The example above means: except one / almost everyone / nearly everyone
C2 ANYTHING BUT (unlisted in the English Vocabulary Profile) = not at all and it is used for emphasis.
When certain issues are raised amongst my friends and I,
* * anything but * *
1 SETTLE FOR ANYTHING BUT THE BEST 95 = We will ONLY settle for the best. | We will not settle for anything EXCEPT the best.
2 IT WAS ANYTHING BUT. 79 = But at the end of a sentence = It was anything except what you just said. | It was not at all like what you just described it.
3 IT IS ANYTHING BUT. 67
4 TO BE ANYTHING BUT. 67
5 IT IS ANYTHING BUT DIFFICULT TO 56 = It is not difficult at all to do something.
6 IT ‘S ANYTHING BUT. 52
7 HAS BEEN ANYTHING BUT SMOOTH. 39 = I am emphasizing that it has been difficult.
8 HAS BEEN ANYTHING BUT EASY. 38
9 THEY ARE ANYTHING BUT. 34
10 THAT IS ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY. 30
11 HAS BEEN ANYTHING BUT. 29
13 IT IS ANYTHING BUT THAT. 28
14 TO BE ANYTHING BUT HAPPY. 28
15 THAT ARE ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY. 25
16 IT’S ANYTHING BUT DIFFICULT TO 24
18 IT WAS ANYTHING BUT EASY. 24
19 GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT LOVE, 23
We already have another page with explanations of the prepositional phrase BUT FOR = except for
nothing but = B2 no other thing than | only
We do a search in iWeb corpus for:
* * * * (II)
I HAVE HAD NOTHING BUT (II) 216
, IT IS NOTHING BUT (II) 170
* * (II) * *
HAD NOTHING BUT TROUBLE WITH 149
We‘ve had nothing but trouble with that old man.
HAVE NOTHING BUT CONTEMPT FOR 131
NEGATION + subordinating conjunction + TO – infinitive clause
* * * * but_CS
YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT (CS) 2284
LEFT (VVN ) WITH no option but (CS) 272
* * but_CS * *
1 NO CHOICE BUT TO GO 1077
2 NO CHOICE BUT TO TAKE 837
3 NO CHOICE BUT TO USE 720
4 NO CHOICE BUT TO ACCEPT 592
They will have no choice but to accept your control of the system.
5 NO CHOICE BUT TO BE 585
but_CS * * * *
1 BUT TO GO TO THE 88
You leave me no choice but to go to the press.
2 BUT TO GO BACK TO 58
3 BUT TO DO SO. 52
4 BUT TO GO ALONG WITH 47
5 BUT TO PUT UP WITH 37
6 BUT TO TURN TO THE 37
7 BUT TO COMPLY WITH THE 36
8 BUT TO ACCEPT IT. 32
9 BUT TO DO IT. 32
10 BUT TO RETURN TO THE 32
no _NN but _TO
1 NO CHOICE BUT TO 31272
2 NO OPTION BUT TO 3960
Well, as we have no conversation, I have no option but to ask you for the next dance.
3 NO ALTERNATIVE BUT TO 1829
4 NO RECOURSE BUT TO 296
5 NO PURPOSE BUT TO 186
1 BUTS (NN2) 1180 PLURAL NOUN
2 BUTS (VVZ) 684 THIRD PERSON SINGULAR VERB