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  1. #21
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: only - word-order; just

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    And what if I say: "I kissed Jane only"
    - is it correct?
    - what does it mean?
    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    = she was the only person I kissed

    So that means that if we want to emphasize an object in a sentece (and want to say it was the only one that...), we can either use (or use either??):
    1) "only" before the verb + stress (in speech) on the object
    2) "only" before the verb + an italicized object
    3) "only" before the object
    4) "only" after the object it refers to
    Am I right?


    I've come across this sentence today:
    You need to decide on one answer only. (I suppose it's correct)

    Now, I'll try to "transfer" the word only and tell me if it is correct, please...
    1) You only need to decide on one answer. (in speech)
    2) You only need to decide on one answer. (in a written text)
    3) You need to decide on only one answer.

    What about "You need to decide only on one answer."? Is it incorrect?

  2. #22
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    Default Re: only - word-order; just

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    So that means that if we want to emphasize an object in a sentece (and want to say it was the only one that...), we can either use (or use either??):
    1) "only" before the verb + stress (in speech) on the object
    2) "only" before the verb + an italicized object
    3) "only" before the object
    4) "only" after the object it refers to
    Am I right?
    , but teachers often discourage (1) and (2), because they want you to concentrate on word order; and you can use (4) only when the object is at the end of the sentence (so that the 'only' is clearly referring to that - and not to a following word. So (3) is the safest option, but all the others occur.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    I've come across this sentence today:
    You need to decide on one answer only. (I suppose it's correct) - type 4

    Now, I'll try to "transfer" the word only and tell me if it is correct, please...
    1) You only need to decide on one answer. (in speech)
    2) You only need to decide on one answer. (in a written text)
    3) You need to decide on only one answer.
    - with stress as amended. (Some teachers would disagree about (1) and (2).)

    What about "You need to decide only on one answer."? Is it incorrect?
    I wouldn't call it incorrect, but it's a bit inelegant. Generally, it's easier on listeners (who have to parse what they hear as they hear it) if you don't separate a phrasal verb if you can avoid it.

    b

  3. #23
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: only - word-order; just

    Thanks a lot, Bob.

  4. #24
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: only - word-order; just

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    ... you can use (4) ['only' after the object] only when the object is at the end of the sentence (so that the 'only' is clearly referring to that - and not to a following word. ...
    I have been thinking about this, and think it's only partially true. 'Only' is quite often placed after numbers, for emphasis; and although the end of a sentence is a safe place to do this (in that the word that 'only' refers to will be clear) any kind of pause/punctuation mark will do.

    Also, there's a strong collocation between 'one' and 'only', especially in exam questions and any kind of instructions; e.g., in a classroom -

    'Take one only, and pass the rest along to the end of the row.'


    b

  5. #25
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    Default Re: only - word-order; just

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Also, there's a strong collocation between 'one' and 'only', especially in exam questions and any kind of instructions; e.g., in a classroom -

    'Take one only, and pass the rest along to the end of the row.'
    I wonder if it might have more to do with the verb phrase itself. It's a unit. Breaking it up by stressing 'only' has the rhythm or timing slowing down - by probably nano-seconds, which means it doesn't seem to be that big of a deal. But then again timing is also tied to physiology.

    [VP[take][one]]only
    [VP[take][[only][one]]]

    Here's my $0.02 on I can only read with my glasses. To me, 'only' modifies the word in front of it. Unless, it's at the end of the sentence, in which case it has no other option but to modify the word before it. So, for example, these have the same meaning:

    I can only read.
    I can read only.

    These also have the same meaning:

    Only I can read.
    I, only, can read. <The commas stop 'only' from modifying 'can'.

    This one is odd:

    I only can read.

    These differ:

    I only kissed her. <That is, only one action took place.>
    I kissed her only. <That is, only one person was kissed>

    All the best.
    Last edited by Casiopea; 05-Mar-2007 at 11:45.

  6. #26
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: only - word-order; just

    It seems to me that the position of these adverb (only, just...) is very "free" (Can I say it like this?) - you can put it almost anywhere and you won't make a mistake...
    I wonder if there is an exercise (in a book, on the internet etc.) for the usage and "word order position" of "only".

    Thank you for your replies and your patience with me .


    ------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Here's my $0.02 on I can only read with my glasses. To me, 'only' modifies the word in front of it. Unless, it's at the end of the sentence, in which case it has no other option but to modify the word before it. So, for example, these have the same meaning:
    Casiopea, could you please explain what "Here's my $0.02 on ..." means?
    (By the way, should I put the word "please" (which word class is it??) in (at?) the end of the sentence or is it OK like this?)

  7. #27
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: only - word-order; just

    Actually, I am having some more questions... I just am not sure if I should or should not ask them in a new thread... They are connected with the position of "also" in a sentence (I believe that isn't that difficult as "only"... At least I hope so!)...

    What is the position of "also" in a sentence?

    E.g.
    1)
    A: I come from NYC.
    B: Me too. (= Can replace "too" with "also" somehow?)

    2)
    I like reading and watching films. Of course, I ALSO like listening to the music.
    (Should I put it in front of the verb or in front of the object? Is it ever possible to put it in front of an object?)

  8. #28
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: only - word-order; just

    I think it'd be a good idea to start a new string. I have done: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...tml#post157825



    b

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