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Hello!

Considering the following sentence:

The child had two pair of shoes.

If I decided to insert the adverb only, the answer would be:

The child had only two pair of shoes (isn't it ?).

But would it be wrong if I also wrote: The child only had two pair of shoes (?). Is there any 'grammar explanation' in case both forms are correct?

(because for me, in this case, this position change doesn't seem to alter the meaning of the sentence).

Thanks for your attention,

Perla
Comments  
Generally, put the "only" just before the thing you mean to modify.

If you put it before "had" I would not mistake your meaning - I would not think the child had two pairs of shoes but no clothes, for example.

But there are other times when it could cause confusion.
Thanks, Grammar Geek!!!

Best wishes,

Perla
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Thanks, Grammar Geek !

Perla
Grammar GeekGenerally, put the "only" just before the thing you mean to modify.

If you put it before "had" I would not mistake your meaning - I would not think the child had two pairs of shoes but no clothes, for example.

But there are other times when it could cause confusion.
As I have stated before, this is my theory. Confusion aside, I think it's just better writing.
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There have been quite a few discussions of this topic.

See is the position of ONLY right?.
See only - also - even.
See The position of the word'' ONLY''.

CJ
Hi,

Or you could say The only child had two pair of shoes. Emotion: smile

This means that the child had no brothers or sisters.

Best wishes, Clive