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  1. mamen's Avatar
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    #1

    Post "only have"/"have only"

    My dear teachers,

    Which one is correct?
    We only have orange juice.(I know that this sounds natural)

    or

    We have only orange juice.

    Is there any rule on this matter?

    Thanks in advance...

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    #2

    Re: "only have"/"have only"

    Both are correct.

    The difference is one of emphasis. But the two are interchaneable in most cases.

    We have only orange juice. [Nothing else.]

    We only have orange juice. [No other kind of juice.]

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    #3

    Re: "only have"/"have only"

    Quote Originally Posted by mamen View Post
    My dear teachers,

    Which one is correct?
    We only have orange juice.(I know that this sounds natural)

    or

    We have only orange juice.

    Is there any rule on this matter?

    Thanks in advance...
    For precision of meaning 'only' should be placed directly before the sentence element to which its restriction applies.

    Thus:

    [1] Only I collect stamps for fun.
    (= no one except me does this )

    [2] I only collect stamps for fun.
    (= I do nothing with them for fun other than collect them)

    [3] I collect only stamps for fun.
    (= I do not collect anything besides stamps for this purpose)

    [4] I collect stamps only for fun.
    (I engage in this activity for no purpose other than fun)

    and so forth.

    Conversationally, however, provided it is judged that no ambiguity is likely, the preverbal position as in [2] is more likely with any of the above meanings.

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