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Are both OK and interchangeable?

1a) The difference could be in the quality of the two shirts.

Or


1b) The difference could be a difference in the quality of the two shirts.

Are all grammatical?

Which is preferred?

2a) I have all of the subscription payments, except two.

2b) I have all of the subscription payments, except for two.

2c) I have all the subscription payments, except two.

2d) I have all the subscription payments, except for two.

2e) I have all except two of the subscription payments.


Thank you



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1) Both are OK and interchangeable. The less wordy version is preferred.

2) In my opinion, all of these examples are equally acceptable.
Although "of" is required in (e), some would prefer to omit the "of" in (a) and (b).

In a sentence where the exception is more complicated, it might be unwise to omit the "for":
I've completed all the arrangements, except for the room reservations for the General and his wife.
I've taken care of everything except the room reservations would be okay.
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Hi,

A small further comment.

1b) The difference could be a difference in the quality of the two shirts.

As much as possible, repetition of words is usually avoided in natural English.

Best wishes, Clive
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Comments  
Thank you. 'except for' is idiomatic. Hence I thought the standard preposition 'except' would be preferred--but you've shown that it is preferred in some instances.
Hi, English.

Just as an aside, I've gotten in the habit of using "idiomatic" to describe any usage which is commonly accepted.

Perhaps it's better used to describe an expression found in somebody's "list of idioms."
I haven't checked the etymology.

We once had a rather obstreperous member who used it to describe people whose English was or wasn't correct: You're not even idiomatic!Emotion: angry

Best rgdz, - A.
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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
Hi

Yes, I too have noticed people use the word idiomatic differently. And I also have met a forum member who uses it in such a way; I wonder if we are talking of the same person...