Article »

3. Placing the Word “Only”

This Grammar.com article is about 3. Placing the Word “Only” — enjoy your reading!

  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips

According to Garner Oxford, the word only is “the most frequently misplaced of all English words.” Garner Oxford, p. 239. You should put only immediately before the word you intend to limit. The greater the distance between only and the word it limits, the greater the chances for ambiguity. Study this blunder in USA Today, which is quoted in Garner Oxford:

[T]he prosecution was hindered from seeking a conviction on attempted manslaughter charges because Seles elected not to testify at the hearing and only provided her medical records shortly before the trial was to begin.

In that situation, Seles did not only provide. Instead, she provided her medical records only shortly before the trial was to begin.

 

Previous: Where Do Adverbs Go? Next: 4. What Are the Comparative and Superlative Forms?

Rate this article:(4.98 / 5 votes)

Have a discussion about this article with the community:

Citation

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:

Style:MLAChicagoAPA

"3. Placing the Word “Only”." Grammar.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 18 Feb. 2018. <https://www.grammar.com/3-placing-the-word-only>.

Free, no signup required:

Add to Chrome

Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web!

Free, no signup required:

Add to Firefox

Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web!

Free Writing Tool:

Instant
Grammar Checker

Improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing -- and it's FREE!


Improve your writing now:

Download Grammar eBooks

It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. After all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and instant messages.