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    #1

    If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    1. As long as you read the book everything will be clear.
    2. If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    Are there any difference in meaning between the above sentences?
    I need native speakers' help.

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    #2

    Re: If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    No.2 implies that the listener didn't do the reading.
    I am not a teacher.

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    No.2 sounds to me as if 'If others also read the book, everything will not be clear.'
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    No.2 sounds to me as if 'If others also read the book, everything will not be clear.'
    What gives you that impression?

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    #5

    Re: If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    2 should be 'If you only read the book everything would be clear'.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    What gives you that impression?
    'Only you read' suggests 'others do not read'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    2 should be 'If you only read the book everything would be clear'.
    Could it be 'Only if you read the book would everything be clear'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    2 should be 'If you only read the book everything would be clear'.
    It sounds to me as if 'If you also read other books, everything would not be clear'.

    I am not a teacher, so please correct me if I am wrong.
    Last edited by Matthew Wai; 25-Jul-2015 at 08:16.

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    #7

    Re: If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    3. If only I can have another chance, I will surely do a better job.
    4. As long as I can have another chance, I will surely do a better job.

    Are the above sentences acceptable?
    I need native speakers' help.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    I would omit 'only' in #3 because 'only I can' suggests 'others cannot'.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I would omit 'only' in #3 because 'only I can' suggests 'others cannot'.

    Hi Matthew,

    No.3 works for me.

    I think that some of your possible confusion about the word "only" used in this context, is because here, "if only" is almost an idiomatic phrase used to express a wish or desire that something had been done differently. It should be viewed as a whole, not as the two separate words, "if" and "only".
    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dict...ritish/if-only

    Does that help?

  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: If only you read the book everything will be clear.

    http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie...if_1#if_1__319
    All examples of 'if only' above are not conditional sentences, so is it acceptable to use it in a conditional clause?
    I am not a teacher.

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