GrammarPhile Blog

Putting Only in Its Place

Posted by Terri Porter   May 25, 2016 7:30:00 AM

For being such a small word, only wreaks a lot of havoc — largely because it’s probably the most frequently misplaced word in the English language.

Its proper placement is immediately before the word or phrase it modifies. The farther it strays, the more likely ambiguity will result.

Consider these examples:

     Only Sarah sees clients on Mondays and Wednesdays.
     Sarah only sees clients on Mondays and Wednesdays.
     Sarah sees only clients on Mondays and Wednesdays.
     Sarah sees clients only on Mondays and Wednesdays.

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Topics: placement of only

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