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Thread: can give only

  1. Newbie
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    #1

    can give only

    Are both sentences correct? My answer is (2).

    1) I can only give two weeks' notice for my resignation.

    2) I can give only two weeks' notice for my resignation.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: can give only

    Quote Originally Posted by ruth666 View Post
    Are both sentences correct? My answer is (2).

    1) I can only give two weeks' notice for my resignation.

    2) I can give only two weeks' notice for my resignation.
    I can give only two weeks' notice of my resignation.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: can give only

    #2 is correct if the speaker/writer indicates that it is the only period of time that he/she is able to or wants to consider. The placement of "only" is important in use.

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    #4

    Re: can give only

    I agree with ems and Yankee that only #2 is correct, but you will hear sentences like #1 from many native speakers.

    I am a lapsed member of another language forum in which members are told "Only write in English". Tut tut.

    Typoman - writer of rongs

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: can give only

    I don't think #1 is terrible. I certainly understand it as readily as the other. (Now somebody is going to tell me why I am wrong.)
    Not a professional teacher

  6. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: can give only

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I don't think #1 is terrible. I certainly understand it as readily as the other. (Now somebody is going to tell me why I am wrong.)
    Not me! Uh not I! Uh not this boy! . . .
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #7

    Re: can give only

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I don't think #1 is terrible. I certainly understand it as readily as the other. (Now somebody is going to tell me why I am wrong.)
    Well, I wouldn't necessarily call it "terrible" either and I know we would understand the statement as expressed. But placement of "only" can be key to meaning. As I posted some time ago, it's similar to the difference in meaning between "Water Only In The Gymnasium" and "Only Water In The Gymnasium".

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    #8

    Re: can give only

    Quote Originally Posted by Yankee View Post
    ... placement of "only" can be key to meaning.
    Exactly. If anybody missed my recent story about a confusingly-placed 'only', here it is again:

    I once went into a Publix supermarket in Orlando. Florida to buy beer. A notice said ALCOHOL ONLY SOLD ON SUNDAYS AFTER 10AM.

    I was really disappointed—it was only Friday and I hadn't time to wait.

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