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Related to but for: But for test
but for someone or something
if it were not for someone or something. But for the railing, I'd have fallen down the stairs. But for the children, Mrs. Smith would have left her husband years ago.
Except for, were it not for. For example, But for the afternoon shower, it was a perfect day, or But for the children, they would have gotten a divorce long ago. [c. 1200]
Were it not for: except for: We would have reached the summit but for the weather.