Main Difference – But vs Yet
But and yet are two words that have many functions. Yet can function as an adverb and a conjunction whereas but can function as a conjunction, preposition, and an adverb. Although but and yet can be used interchangeably as conjunctions, they cannot be used interchangeably in other contexts. This is because these two words have different meanings as adverbs. As an adverb, but means no more than or only whereas yet means until now or so far. This is the main difference between but and yet.
This article covers,
1. What Does mean – Grammar, Meaning and Usage
2. What Does Yet Mean – Grammar, Meaning and Usage
3. Difference Between But and Yet
What Does But Mean – Grammar, Meaning and Usage
But can be used as a conjunction, preposition, and adverb. The following section describes these functions by explaining the different meanings of but and their examples.
But as a Conjunction
But is used to introduce a statement that adds something to a previous statement and usually contrasts with it in some way. In other words, but connects two statements that have opposite meanings.
Her mother told her to stay quiet, but she started shouting.
The dress is cheap but elegant.
Many didn’t agree with her, but she didn’t let that discourage her.
But as an Adverb
The adverb but means no more than or only.
He is but a shadow of his strong brother.
He is but a child.
You have but two days to get ready.
But as a Preposition
As a preposition, but means or is equivalent to except or apart from.
You have no choice but to leave.
He had no one but his mother.
I didn’t tell anyone but my wife.
What Does Yet Mean – Grammar, Meaning and Usage
Yet can be used as an adverb as well as a conjunction. As a conjunction, yet can connect two contrasting ideas. In this sense, it is quite similar to but. The two conjunctions but and yet are interchangeable.
Her mother told her to stay quiet, yet she started shouting.
The dress is cheap yet elegant.
Many didn’t agree with her, yet she didn’t let that discourage her.
As an adverb, yet means up until the present or a specified or implied time. It is equivalent to so far or still. For example,
I haven’t watched it yet.
Have you told anyone else yet?
He is yet to be convinced of her innocence.
If you look at the meaning of the above examples carefully, you’ll note that yet in these examples cannot be replaced by but. The easiest way to remember the difference between but and yet is to remember that but and yet can only be used interchangeably when they are conjunctions.
Difference Between But and Yet
But is a preposition, adverb, and a conjunction.
Yet is an adverb and a conjunction.
As an Adverb
But means only or more than.
Yet means so far or still.
As a Preposition
But is used as a preposition.
Yet is not used as a preposition.
“WAITING FOR THE BUS-ON NICOLLET MALL – NARA – 551448” By Donald Emmerich, Photographer (NARA record: 3045077) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia