Hello, teachers!

Would you please tell me which is the correct word order? Someone told me only #2 is correct. However, IMHO, both are correct; moreover #1 seems more logical or more grammatical. Is my thought rubbish?

1. It's a very good sports team; it has lost only/just two games this season.

2. It's a very good sports team; it has only/just lost two games this season.

Thank you very much.
Enjoy drowsiness in the middle of spring.
Best regards.
Original Post
Your thoughts about grammar could never be rubbish!

Sentence 1 is correct. "Only" and "just" should come just before the words they modify.

Look at these sentences. Notice how changing the position of "only" or "just" changes the emphasis:

"¢ I just don't agree with you. Sorry.
(I don't agree with you – that's all there is to it.

"¢ I don't just agree with you – I am strongly in favor of your point of view.
(I more than agree with you.)

"¢ Dan is sick. He only wants his close friends to visit.
(The only thing Dan wants is that his close friends visit. He wants nothing else – no TV, no letters, no books, for example).

"¢ Dan is sick. He wants only his close friends to visit.
(Dan wants only his close friends. Nobody else.)

However, in informal speech and writing, the adverb "only" often occurs before the verb. The exact meaning is understood through the context. The construction in your first sentence is accurate and clear, and the word order should definitely be used in formal or academic language; the construction of your second sentence is very common and is acceptable informally.


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