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    #1

    only if

    Dear teachers,

    Please read the following:
    There are times when children feel that they could manage very well ___ their parents would   leave them alone.
    A. only when B. only if
    C. when only D. if only

    The key is D. But B is also possible. Is that right?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: only if

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Please read the following:
    There are times when children feel that they could manage very well ___ their parents would   leave them alone.
    A. only when B. only if
    C. when only D. if only

    The key is D. But B is also possible. Is that right?
    D is what we would expect. You are, however, right: B is possible - with a different meaning, of course.

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: only if

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Please read the following:
    There are times when children feel that they could manage very well ___ their parents would   leave them alone.
    A. only when B. only if
    C. when only D. if only

    The key is D. But B is also possible. Is that right?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang
    ♥♦♣♠ NOT A TEACHER ♥♦♣♠
    To my way of thinking, only D is appropriate here. B (only if) is a stronger version of if, imposing a real condition, while if only is simply expressing a wish that things could be diffrerent. In this case, if only refers to an unreal condition (hypothesis).

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    #4

    Re: only if

    Hi engee30,

    Thank you very much for your help.
    May I say: If the sentence is "will (or without will)" instead of "would" then I can use "only if"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    ♥♦♣♠ NOT A TEACHER ♥♦♣♠
    To my way of thinking, only D is appropriate here. B (only if) is a stronger version of if, imposing a real condition, while if only is simply expressing a wish that things could be diffrerent. In this case, if only refers to an unreal condition (hypothesis).

  3. engee30's Avatar
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    #5

    Thumbs up Re: only if

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Hi engee30,

    Thank you very much for your help.
    May I say: If the sentence is "will (or without will)" instead of "would" then I can use "only if"?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

    For example:
    You will get better marks only if you study more.
    or
    You will only get better marks if you study more.

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    #6

    Re: only if

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Please read the following:
    There are times when children feel that they could manage very well ___ their parents would   leave them alone.
    A. only when B. only if
    C. when only D. if only

    The key is D. But B is also possible. Is that right?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang
    As a matter of fact both B and D are correct answers. I'll first go over why A and C aren't.

    Using 'when' signals that they are talking about something that only occurs once in a while. It also implies that it has happened once or more than once before.
    Using 'if' signals that they are talking about something that has yet to happen.

    By looking at the sentence you can see from the "parents would leave them alone" that it's something that has yet to happen, hence it must be B or D.

    The remaining option are:
    B) There are times when children feel that they could manage very well only if their parents would leave them alone.

    D) There are times when children feel that they could manage very well if only their parents would leave them alone.

    B implies that the children feel that they would only manage well if the parents left them alone.

    D implies that the children feel that if the parents leave them alone they would manage well, but that the parents aren't letting them be alone.

    Both are correct, but D is more sensible.

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