all but over

Guest   Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:56 pm GMT
"Sniper fire from the near balconies was all but over."

What does it actually mean?
The fire was: over/almost over/far from over?

Thank you in advance
Bob   Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:15 pm GMT
"All but over” means almost over.
"Anything but over" means far from over.
Guest   Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:24 pm GMT
Sometimes understanding 'but' in sentences like that can be very confusing (for me). Probably because at school I was taught mostly the meaning as in 'he was called but he did not answer' or 'The sun has set, but it is still light.'
Robin   Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:28 pm GMT
It is not over until the fat lady sings.

Its all over now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan)

It is all over, bar the shouting.

'All but over' is not a very elegant expression. It is misleading.

Sometimes people will say: See you next Wednesday, or a week next Wednesday, etc.

Usually people are careful to clarify, exactly what they do mean.

Of course, the classic: "They think it is all over, it is now!", the final goal in the 1966 World Cup.