but not without tragedy.

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Vanloon

Senior Member
Hindi
Heroes of the Holocaust by Allan Zullo

"All the news from the underground says the Russians are advancing and the Germans are growing weaker and more desperate each day. By fall, the war will be over. You'll see." For the people of Janowiec, the war ended sooner than expected - but not without tragedy.

'the war ended sooner than expected' which is good.
'Not without tragedy' which is good too.

But! Why there should be 'but'?
Thanks a lot!
 
  • Steven David

    Senior Member
    English
    The writer uses "but" to contrast two events.

    The war ended. << This is good.

    The war ended with tragedy. << This is not good.

    When we use the conjunction "but" to join two clauses, we contrast two things that are not the same.

    There already is a contrast between two things that are not the same. However, the conjunction "but" highlights this contrast and calls it to our attention.

    "The war ended, but it did not end without tragedy."

    In the original example sentence, the clause is reduced to a phrase. It's possible to use "but" in this way.

    "The war ended but not without tragedy."
     
    Last edited:

    Vanloon

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    The writer uses but to contrast two events.

    The war ended. << This is good.

    The war ended with tragedy. << This is not good.

    When we use the conjunction "but" to join two clauses, we contrast two things that are not the same.

    There already is a contrast between two things that are not the same. However, the conjunction "but" highlights this contrast and calls it to our attention.

    "The war ended, but it did not end without tragedy."

    In the original example sentence, the clauses reduced to a phrase. It's possible to use "but" in this way.

    "The war ended but not without tragedy."
    Oh...’not without tragedy’ means with tragedy!!
    I thought opposite!
     

    Steven David

    Senior Member
    English
    Exactly. If something is not without tragedy, then this means that it is with tragedy.

    "not without X" means "with X"
     
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