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"It did nothing but make us ridiculous."

It means : "It did nothing but It did make us ridiculous."

Here, 'but' seems to be a conjunction.

But I know, 'but' is a preposition (meaning 'except') in the phrase 'nothing but'!

Again, if 'but' is a preposition, the verb following it should be in -ing from. But here the verb is in the base from - 'make'!

Then, what is the parts of speech of 'but' in the phrase "nothing but"?

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Sandip KumarThen, what is are the parts of speech of 'but' in the phrase "nothing but"?

But is usually classified as a conjunction in the pattern "do nothing but (base form of verb)", an idiomatic grammatical pattern.

She was so sorry that she could do nothing but cry.
It did nothing but make us look ridiculous.
For most of my career I did nothing but work on routers.
He did nothing but lie in bed.
Stocks have fallen so far that they have nothing to do now but go up.

It is a conjunction when it joins main clauses:

For my birthday I wanted nothing but I received lots of gifts.


In the following sentences, "but" is usually classified as a preposition. The complement can be a noun, pronoun or gerundial-participial clause.

Sammy eats nothing but pizza.
He wants nothing but love.
They were there for you when you had nothing but them.
Insecticides sometimes accomplish nothing but keeping the insect populations in check.
After months of contemplating nothing but quitting this sorry job, I finally did exactly that.
Who would use their iPhone for nothing but watching videos all day long?


cross-posted

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Sandip Kumar"It did nothing but make us ridiculous." ...
"Here, 'but' seems to be a conjunction.

Yes. That's what I would call it.

Sandip Kumar'but' is a preposition (meaning 'except') in the phrase 'nothing but'

Not always, as you can see. Not in traditional grammar anyway. But it's quite possible that it could be called a preposition in modern grammar. I don't know about that.


This turn of phrase can also be expressed with "only".

It did nothing but make us look ridiculous.
~ It only made us look ridiculous.

I did nothing but work on operating systems.
~ I only worked on operating systems.

Helen's lazy landlord did nothing but collect rent.
~ Helen's lazy landlord only collected rent.

CJ

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Comments  
AlpheccaStarsThey were there for you when you had nothing but them.

They were there for you when you had NONE BUT them.

I think here "none but" may also be used.

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Sandip KumarI think here "none but" may also be used.

Yes it may.