ETG logo

This is one of many lessons available to subscribers to the Library of Instant Lessons. By printing this lesson you are agreeing to the terms of use. For information about teaching Instant Lessons, please click here. Or just print and teach! You can also email this lesson to a friend.


Wolfie the amazing grammar dogAn Anna Grammar Page

Dear Anna,

I would like you to help me out here. I have trouble explaining the difference between 'except' and 'except for', and I do not seem to find many examples.

I would appreciate your help.


Dear Martha

When except is followed by a verb, we usually use the infinitive without “to”.

For example:
You can’t do anything except hope and pray.
He’ll do anything except work.
NOTE: “but” can be used too.

Except is also used with... that…

For example:
In general she was happy, except that she couldn’t spend enough time reading.

When except is followed by a thing or a person, it is usually followed by “for”.

For example:
They enjoyed the whole recital except for the last song.
The party was great, except for the shortage of ice.

I hope you are satisfied, with no exceptions.

Kind regards
Anna Grammar

Contact Anna Grammar at

© 1997-2008. English-To-Go Limited. All rights reserved. English-To-Go,, Instant Lessons, Weekly Warmer, Anna Grammar and Max Vocab are the registered trade marks of English-To-Go Limited. Other trademarks are the sole property of their respective owners and are used with permission.