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1."Everybody came to the party except/except for him."

2."The building was entirely empty except/except for him."

Which one is right each? and Why is that?

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1."Everybody came to the party except/except for him."

2."The building was entirely empty except/except for him."

Which one is right each? and Why is that?

1. except OR except for

2. except for

In the first case you're excepting him from 'everybody'.
In the second case you're excepting him from the fact that the building was in a certain state, namely, being empty.


Here's something I found online about the difference between 'except' and 'except for':

They are almost equivalent when used as a preposition with a noun phrase. As a rule of thumb, use “except” when you are talking about a group of things, and want to single out part of this group, and use “except for” when describing a state and something that invalidates that state. However, almost always you can also use “except for” instead of “except”, but not vice versa.

Examples:

We all went to the cinema, except (for) Suzy, who stayed at home.
The table is clean, except for a few bread crumbs.

So in example 1, there’s a group (“we all”), and one of the group is the exception (Suzy), so you can use both “except” and “except for”. In example 2, there’s a state (“empty”) that’s invalidated by something (“a few bread crumbs”), so only “except for” is possible.

— Kilian Hekhuis

CJ

Comments  

The problem has bothered me for a long time. But thanks to your answer, I got much much clear. Thank you so much Mr. CJ:)