Only as a Modifier

Only as a Modifier

Only as a Modifier


BMW’s slogan also fails to note that it makes Minis, Rolls-Royces, and motorcycles.

Only, just, and even stand out for the way their location in a sentence can change the whole meaning of the sentence. This is because they normally strictly modify the word they precede. Want to see? Try to pair the sentence with the meanings below.

Oh, and thanks for spreading the word, Miata; David Dettling from Q.A. has asked to partake in Tuesday’s tricky bits moving forward.
  1. Only he said he loved her.
  2. He only said he loved her.
  3. He said only he loved her.
  4. He said he only loved her.
  5. He said he loved only her.
  • For whatever reason, he doesn’t believe love is a good enough reason to be together.
  • She is dating several men, but he is the one who proclaimed his love.
  • He knows about the other men and wants to make clear that he is the one who loves her, or is the most sincere.
  • There may be more women in his life, but he insists that she is the one whom he loves.
  • It sounds like his words don’t match up to his actions, or he might not have really meant it.

  1. Only he said he loved her: She is dating several men, but he is the one who proclaimed his love.

  2. He only said he loved her: It sounds like his words don’t match up to his actions, or he might not have really meant it.

  3. He said only he loved her: He knows about the other men and wants to make clear that he is the one who loves her, or is the most sincere.

  4. He said he only loved her: For whatever reason, he doesn't believe love is a good enough reason to be together.

  5. He said he loved only her: There may be more women in his life, but he insists that she is the one whom he loves.