except and except for

  • We can use exceptor except for after all, any, every, no, anything/body/ one/where, everything/body/one/where, nothing/body/one/where, and whole— that is to say, words which suggest the idea of a total.
    In other cases we usually use except for, but not except.
    Compare:
      He ate everything on his plate except (for) the beans.
      He ate the whole meal except (for) the beans.
      He ate the meal except for the beans.
      (NOT . . . except the beans.)
      I’ve cleaned all the rooms except (for) the bathroom.
      I’ve cleaned the whole house except (for) the bathroom. I’ve cleaned the house except for the bathroom.
      (NOT . . . except the bathroom.)
      We’re all here except (for) John and Mary.
      Except for John and Mary we’re all here.
  • We use except, not except lor, before prepositions and conjunctions.
      It’s the same everywhere except in Scotland.
      She’s beautiful except when she smiles.