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    #1

    Question use of 'only'

    Anyone who knows, is welcome to Answer.
    the use of 'only' is a bit confusing for me, like we say "he eats vegetables only' or "he eats only vegetables". i think, we can use either of them. is it? Thanks.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
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    #2

    Re: use of 'only'

    Quote Originally Posted by hznaeem View Post
    Anyone who knows, is welcome to Answer.
    the use of 'only' is a bit confusing for me, like we say "he eats vegetables only' or "he eats only vegetables". i think, we can use either of them. is it? Thanks.

    "Only" modifies the word it is nearest to.

    In this case, it is near "vegetables" equally when it is placed before or after the word. So the meaning is the same.

    If it said "Only he eats vegetables," that would mean that he is the only one who does this.

    It is extremely common to see and hear "only" misplaced.

    "He only eats vegetables" is almost universally used in mistake for "He eats vegetables only," but careful speakers and writers avoid this error.

    • Member Info
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      • Spain
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    #3

    Arrow Re: use of 'only'

    hi thanks for your kind feedback, could you have a look at my other threads, as i am a careful speaker and sometimes find myself confused in using such sentences. Thanks.


    • Join Date: Sep 2009
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    #4

    Re: use of 'only'

    "He only eats vegetables" is almost universally used in mistake for "He eats vegetables only," but careful speakers and writers avoid this error.

    ===============================

    Main Entry: only
    Function: adverb
    Date: 14th century

    usage The placement of only in a sentence has been a source of studious commentary since the 18th century, most of it intended to prove by force of argument that prevailing standard usage is wrong. After 200 years of preachment the following observations may be made: the position of only in standard spoken English is not fixed, since ambiguity is avoided through sentence stress; in casual prose that keeps close to the rhythms of speech only is often placed where it would be in speech; and in edited and more formal prose only tends to be placed immediately before the word or words it modifies.
    bbb


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    #5

    Re: use of 'only'

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    "He only eats vegetables" is almost universally used in mistake for "He eats vegetables only," but careful speakers and writers avoid this error.

    ===============================



    bbb
    Misplacing "only" is one of my pet peeves!!!


    I don't have any problem with "too."

    Go figure.


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    #6

    Re: use of 'only'

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    Misplacing "only" is one of my pet peeves!!!
    Academics aren't supposed to have pet peeves, Ann. They're supposed to check these "personal opinions" to see if they have any veracity.

    And what's a pet peeve on language? It's simply someone repeating someone else's pet peeve. That how these errant ideas on language get passed down generation after generation.


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    #7

    Re: use of 'only'

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    Academics aren't supposed to have pet peeves, Ann. They're supposed to check these "personal opinions" to see if they have any veracity.

    And what's a pet peeve on language? It's simply someone repeating someone else's pet peeve. That how these errant ideas on language get passed down generation after generation.

    And "have went" -- I HATE "have went"

    And I hate "If I would have." That's one I really hate.

    And using "myself" or "I" instead of me. I hate that!

    Add misplacing "only," and those are my four pet peeves.





    And confusing "it's" for "its." It's a THREE-LETTER WORD!!!


    Also using an apostrophe to form a plural. I hate that! I dragged my godson out of a market one time because we saw this sign

    GRAPE'S
    Grape's?!?!?! GRAPE'S???!?!?

    The way to form the plural of "grape" is so easy that you learn it in the SECOND GRADE!!!! I think it's right after you learn
    DOG -- DOGS
    BOOK -- BOOKS

    Using an apostrophe to form the plural -- I hate that!

    So those are my six pet peeves. . .

    . . . that I can think of right now.


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    #8

    Re: use of 'only'

    Quote Originally Posted by Ann1977 View Post
    And "have went" -- I HATE
    So those are my six pet peeves. . .

    . . . that I can think of right now.
    Those aren't yours, Ann. Been there, been done hundreds if not thousands of times.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,131
    #9

    Re: use of 'only'

    Quote Originally Posted by albeit View Post
    Those aren't yours, Ann. Been there, been done hundreds if not thousands of times.

    And using "less" instead of "fewer." That's another one I hate.

    And all uses of the word "very." I hate "very."

    And "of" instead of "have." I hate that too, but not as much as I hate all the other ones.

    I HATE the other ones!


    This is my nightmare editing job:

    "If I would have known that there would be so many ant's at the picnic, I never would of went. We only saw two at first, but then they started crawling all over my daughter and I. There were less ant's last year, but they were very numerous this year. Its a shame the park couldn't of kept it's picnic area's clean."


    • Join Date: Sep 2009
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    #10

    Re: use of 'only'

    The Decline of Grammar - G Nunberg

    Most of my fellow linguists, in fact, would say that it is absurd even to talk about a language changing for the better or the worse. When you have the historical picture before you, and can see how Indo-European gradually slipped into Germanic, Germanic into Anglo-Saxon, and Anglo-Saxon into the English of Chaucer, then Shakespeare, and then Henry James, the process of linguistic change seems as ineluctable and impersonal as continental drift. From this Olympian point of view, not even the Norman invasion had much of an effect on the structure of the language, and all the tirades of all the grammarians since the Renaissance sound like the prattlings of landscape gardeners who hope by frantic efforts to keep Alaska from bumping into Asia.

    Do You Speak American . What Speech Do We Like Best? . Correct American . Decline | PBS

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