Which one is correct?

I have only ten dollars. or I only have ten dollars.

I only invited ten guest. or I invited only ten guest.
Every single one of those is a perfectly good sentence.

In order to know which of your choices is "correct", we also need to know exactly what you INTENDED the sentence to mean.
I think in the first sentence, the former one is correct- I have only ten dollars.

and in the second sentence I invited only ten guests.
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I am curious what is the difference between the above sentences. I thought, only one of them would be correct. Since the author hasn't specified what he or she wanted to express, could anyone explain the meaning of each version?
Hello konstantin,

There is a subtle difference in meaning between those sentences.

1. "only" and "I have 10 dollars."

1) I only have 10 dollars.

Suppose you have neither food nor drinks, and alll you have is 10 dollars in your pocket. Sad to say, but "I only have 10 dollars." would turn out to be a fitting expression.

2) I have only 10 dollars.

You may need around 20 dollars to buy a ticket to a baseball game (I'm not sure if you could get a seat in the bleacher under 10 bucks), but all you could manage to get was, alas, 10 dollars. What else would you say, but "I have only 10 dollars."

2. "only" in "I invited 10 guests."

1) I only invited 10 guests.

All you did was invite some guests, but you didn't guarantee them the special treat you prepared for a few. 10 of them are invited anyway.

2) I invited only 10 guests.

Your place could not afford to accomodate more than 10 people. There was no alternative but to invite only ten guests.

My illustration may not cover all situations. I hope you will find it still helpful to have an idea as to the use of the "only".
Hi mirapence,
thanks a lot for your answer!

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> 1) I only have 10 dollars.
> 2) I have only 10 dollars

Is the following interpretation correct?

In (1), "only" is an adverb that describe "have". So the emphasis
is on the act of possession. The sentence means
"I only have 10 dollars. I have nothing else."

In (2), "only" is an adjective that describe "10 dollars". The emphasis
is on the amount of money. The sentence means
"I have only 10 dollars. The amount is not enough for ..."

The relation is like:
1) I only play the piano. I don't compose music.
2) I play only the piano. I don't play the violin.