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Thread: One question about toefl grammar

  1. #1
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    Please explain the grammar in this sentence to me
    Napoleon III eventually landed in England__________
    a) Not only as a dethroned exile
    b)but only as a dethroned exile
    c)but a dethroned exile
    d)but being only a dethroned exile

    The correct answer is C.But in my knowledge,i think that
    only a is absolute wrong,the rest sound right.Please explain it
    to me

  2. #2
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    Hi,
    Let me give a try.

    "But" as a coordinating conjunction have to be used in the independent clause(thus there must be a subject and a predicate verb).
    B and D doesn't provide an independent clause.

    Consider C. In this position "but" can be used as an adverb. For example in the following sentence:
    "He is but a child"
    "But" means "only"

    Well, I'm not sure how to explain grammatically C. I think that following reduction is in effect. The full sentence looks like:
    "Napoleon III eventually landed in England [being] but a dethroned exile"
    I repeat again that i'm not sure if we can get rid of the participle "being" but I think we can.

    Frankly speaking, initially I chose B ;-).

    Looking forward to other opinions.
    Best regards, Hippo.

  3. #3
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    I say it is B.

    It can't be A. "not only" asks for "but also"

    It can't be C either. Because:
    When "but" is followed by a noun or pronoun it means "except"
    There is no one here but me.
    This car has been nothing but trouble.

    We don't have this meaning here.

    OK, Hippo is right. Sometimes it means "only" when it is used before nouns as in:
    He is but a child.
    But still, even if we used it in this meaning, we would need the determiner "as"
    Napoleon III eventually landed in England, but as a dethroned exile.

    In option B,"but" means "however"
    Napoleon III eventually landed in England, but only as a dethroned exile.

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by hsengoren

    I say it is B.

    It can't be A. "not only" asks for "but also"

    It can't be C either. Because:
    When "but" is followed by a noun or pronoun it means "except"
    There is no one here but me.
    This car has been nothing but trouble.

    We don't have this meaning here.

    OK, Hippo is right. Sometimes it means "only" when it is used before nouns as in:
    He is but a child.
    But still, even if we used it in this meaning, we would need the determiner "as"
    Napoleon III eventually landed in England, but as a dethroned exile.

    In option B,"but" means "however"
    Napoleon III eventually landed in England, but only as a dethroned exile.
    I also think B is correct. I do not choose C because if "but" means "except" in structure "A but B", A and B are often the same class, type, or part of speech.

  5. #5
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    Yes, B is the only possible answer for all the reasons you guys have stated, but I should say that the sentence sounds terribly stilted and artificial.
    ☼ Waiting for Godot

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    But tell me why D is an incorrect answer.I see it seems right

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  8. #8
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    B is the only possible answer that completes the sentence. The others leave one with an incomplete sentence.

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