except Ving/to V/V

  1. The graduate stduent had nothing in mind except______ his thesis.
    (A)finishing (B) finish ©finished (D)to finish
    The given answer is D, but I think the correct choice is A. Am I right?
  2. She did nothing except ___ housework.
    (A) doing (B) do © did (D)to do
    The given answer is A, but I think the correct choice is B. Am I right?

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1-- I agree.
2-- Both are accepted.
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  1. He had nothing to do except say “mama”.
  2. He had nothing to do except look at posters.
  3. He was unable to speak except to say “mama”.
  4. He was unable to see except to look at the ceiling.
  5. He had nothing to do except saying “mama”.
  6. He had nothing to do except looking at posters.
  7. He was unable to speak except saying “mama”.
  8. He was unable to see except looking at the ceiling.
    #1, #2, #3, and $4 are correct. Are #5, #6, #7, and #8 also acceptable?

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No, and now I take back my liberal comment on the housework sentence.
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You needn’t worry about anything except having a great time.
According to Practical English Usage, the above sentence [except + Ving] is correct.
Why are the sentences below [except + Ving] incorrect?
5. He had nothing to do except saying “mama”.
6. He had nothing to do except looking at posters.
7. He was unable to speak except saying “mama”.
8. He was unable to see except looking at the ceiling.

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Well, first, they sound too awful to be correct. In addition, I don’t believe that Swan says that. In section 200.5 (my 2nd edition, sorry), he approves of this:

She’s not interested in anything except skiing. Here, anything is a noun (object of in) and is followed by a parallel noun, skiing.

In your #5, for example-- He had nothing to do except saying “mama”– however, except sets up a parallel between infinitive ‘to do’ and what should be another infinitive reading ‘to say mama’.
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Practical English Usage, Third Edition, page 174.
A common structure is
do … except + infinitive without to
He does nothing except eat all day.
I’ll do everything for you except cook.

In other cases and -ing form is usually necessary.
She’s not interested in anything except skiing.
You needn’t worry about anything except having a great time.