if only ???

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jesson cui

Junior Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2008
Member Type
Student or Learner
THERE is nothing more frustrating than turning on to a motorway and getting stuck in a traffic jam that stretches into the distance. Why did the radio and the motorway-entry sign offer no warning? The satellite-navigation system shows a different route—once you get to the next exit. But it leads through the middle of a town and could be heavily congested, if only because other drivers are taking the same detour. Perhaps it is wiser to stay on the motorway and hope for the best? ---- from eoconomist
if only because other drivers are taking the same detour. what does "if only" in this sentence mean? thank you!
 

albertino

Senior Member
Joined
May 27, 2007
Member Type
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Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Hong Kong
Current Location
Hong Kong
THERE is nothing more frustrating than turning on to a motorway and getting stuck in a traffic jam that stretches into the distance. Why did the radio and the motorway-entry sign offer no warning? The satellite-navigation system shows a different route—once you get to the next exit. But it leads through the middle of a town and could be heavily congested, if only because other drivers are taking the same detour. Perhaps it is wiser to stay on the motorway and hope for the best? ---- from eoconomist



if only because other drivers are taking the same detour. what does "if only" in this sentence mean? thank you!
"if only" has two definitions:
I) used to express a strong wish, especially when you know that what you want cannot happen; or
II) used to give a reason for something, although you think it is not a good one.
Which one do you think fit?
(Not a teacher);-)
 
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