so what's the difference between the first two?or they are exactly the same?
Originally Posted by tdol
you have to pay only 10 dollars. OK
you only have to pay 10 dollars. OK
you have to only pay 10 dollars. I don't like this.
The first two have the same meaning. :wink:
Sometimes the position of a modifier can change the meaning.
The first one implies that 10 dollars is a small sum to pay. (It's cheap.)
The second says that the only thing you have to do is pay 10 dollars. (You don't have to do anything else.)
See more examples:
Mother only made the dress. (She did not pick out the style.) Only Mother made the dress. (Nobody helped her.)
Mother made only the dress. (Someone else made the jacket.)
He only seems interested in reading. (He is really not interested.)
He seems interested only in reading. (Reading is apparently his sole interest.)
There are times when that is true, but people don't always use "only" in that way. Your interpretation of the second "ten dollar" question is correct, but the likely intended meaning was the same as the first sentence.
He only eats fish.
He eats only fish.
It is unlikely that the subject of the first sentence does nothing else in his life but eat fish. :wink: