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Please advise if any of the following sentences is incorrect, and why, in terms of gramma rules :

1. We had no choice but leave the kids at home with their grandmother.
2. We had no choice but to leave the kids at home with their grandmother.
3. We had no choice but leaving the kids at home with their grandmother.

Is the but a conjunction in every sentence above?

Thank you for help.
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LcwangPlease advise if any of the following sentences is incorrect, and why, in terms of gramma rules :

1. We had no choice but leave the kids at home with their grandmother.
2. We had no choice but to leave the kids at home with their grandmother.
3. We had no choice but leaving the kids at home with their grandmother.

Is the but a conjunction in every sentence above?

Thank you for help.

This one: 2. We had no choice but to leave the kids at home with their grandmother.

In this use, "but" means (sort of) "excepting" or "omitting all other choices"

We had no choice but = Our only choice was
Hi,
Please advise if any of the following sentences is incorrect, and why, in terms of gramma rules :

1. We had no choice but leave the kids at home with their grandmother. I wouldn't say this is wrong, but the 'to' is usually not omitted.
2. We had no choice but to leave the kids at home with their grandmother.
3. We had no choice but leaving the kids at home with their grandmother. I wouldn't say this is wrong, but it's much, much more common to say 'but to leave'.

Is the but a conjunction in every sentence above? I'd say it probably is, although some people might disagree. It's like 'except'.

Best wishes, Clive
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Thank you for your reply, GG. But do you mean the 2nd sentence is correct or incorrect?
Hi, Clive. Thank you for reply. I have a further question though: Why are bare infinitives used after but in the following sentences?

We could do nothing but wait.
She could not help but cry in her way home.

Are the but's here function differently? Or are they just idiomatical?
Hi Lcwang

I think your best bet is to simply learn these phrases as idiomatic units:

- have/had no choice but to do
- can/could do nothing but do

However, it might be worth looking at your sentences reworded in various ways:

- We had no choice but to leave the kids at home with their grandmother.
Our only choice was to leave the kids at home with their grandmother.
We had to leave the kids at home with their grandmother.

- We could do nothing but wait. = We could only wait. = We could wait but we couldn't do anything else.

As for the phrase "could not help but do", I'd say the most common format is with a bare infinitive, but occasionally (i.e. not very often) you will see it used with the to-infinitive as well.
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I'm sorry. When I wrote "This one" I meant to write "Use this one." #2, as the others have said, is the best choice.
Thanks to you all. But I have one more question: Do the following sentences have the same meaning:

I have no doubt but that everything will be fine.
I have no doubt that everything will be fine.

Hi,
Basically, yes.

Clive
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