Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. moqaddas's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Urdu
      • Home Country:
      • Pakistan
      • Current Location:
      • Pakistan

    • Join Date: Apr 2011
    • Posts: 48
    #1

    About ''Only''

    Ali is the only child of his father.(Is it right to say ''only'' for ''one child '' here)
    There are only some fruits in the basket.
    You are my one and only friend whom I love much.
    Noor has only three siblings.
    Only a cup of tea is left behind when they left the table.

    • Can I use ''only'' for one and ''more than one'' ?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 283
    #2

    Re: About ''Only''

    Quote Originally Posted by moqaddas View Post
    Ali is the only child of his father.(Is it right to say ''only'' for ''one child '' here) "Only" is the right word if Ali's father has no other children. If Ali is one OF his father's children, then "only" would be wrong.

    There are only some fruits in the basket. "Only" can be used here, however I would say, 'There is only fruit in the basket.'

    You are my one and only friend whom I love much. This sentence seems fine to me.

    Noor has only three siblings. Again, this sentence seems fine to me - if you are comparing Noor to someone who has MORE siblings than Noor. In my culture, 3 siblings is considered larger than average, so "only" may not be appropriate unless you are comparing to another person who has a larger number of siblings.

    Only a cup of tea is left behind when they left the table. You can use "only", however I would alter the sentence to read, 'Only a cup of tea was left behind (or "remained") when they left the table.' Since you used the past tense, "left", the past tense should be used for "is" (was).

    • Can I use ''only'' for one and ''more than one'' ? In certain situations yes. "Only" is used when refering to something singular or a small amount eg. Sam was the only man in the room. The man only had a few dollars to spend. The car could only do 20 miles to the gallons. If you are comparing, you can use "only" to help emphasise the lesser quantity. For example, Mark had 100 friends, Joe only had 5.

    "Only" can also be used with sarcasm, but that's another topic.
    Not a teacher only a native. I have tried to explain this clearly, maybe a teacher could improve on this.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
      • Home Country:
      • Portugal
      • Current Location:
      • Portugal

    • Join Date: May 2011
    • Posts: 261
    #3

    Re: About ''Only''

    Not a teacher.

    I always think of "only" as a result of "onely" to express uniqueness. As such it is used to exclude any other options than what follows it. AS such, its functions are very simmilar to those of "but":

    Ali is the only child of his father.(Ali father's descendence is exclusively one child./ Ali's father has but one son.)

    There are only some fruits in the basket. (The contents of the basket are exclusively some fruits. There are but some fruits in the basket)

    Following the above line of thougth "one and only" is, obviously, emphasizing uniqueness:

    You are my one and only friend whom I love much. (I have no other friends at all but you)

    For the thread starter:

    Only one/two/three/a million...

    I would indeed be gratefull for a comment on this.

    M.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •