as only

Who stole your mother's ring?
1) Obviously the butler did it, as only he could.
2) Obviously the butler did it, because only he could.
(I am saying the butler did it, because nobody else could have done it.)
 
3) Nobody else could have saved them. So I saved them, as only I could.
4) Nobody else could have saved them. So I saved them, because only I could.
(I saved them, because nobody else could have done it.)
 
5) She played the concerto as only she could.
(She played it in the way only she could play it in. Presumably, her performance was unique and wonderful.)
Are sentences 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 correct in the given contexts?
 
Gratefully,
Navi
Original Post

Navi,

All five of your examples are grammatically correct.  (1) and (3) are ambiguous.  In both of them, "as" can mean either "because" or "in the way that".

(4) is awkward because of its redundancy, which makes (3) awkward as well when the "because" meaning is applied to "as".  It sounds better simplified:

4a: Nobody else could have saved them, so I did.
4b: Nobody else could save them, so I did.

DocV

Thank you very much, DocV,

I'd like to ask a follow-up question if I may. What will happen if we take 'only' out of 'as only'?

Who stole your mother's ring?
6) It is possible that the butler did it, as  he could.

7) I saved them, as I could.

8) She played the concerto as she could.

 

Do those sentences work?

Are '6' and '7' ambiguous?

Does '8' imply that she didn't play it well?

 

Gratefully,

Navi

 

 

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