English version

only

From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishonlyon‧ly1 /ˈəʊnli $ ˈoʊn-/ ●●● S1 W1 adverb 🔊 🔊 1 ONLYnot more than a particular number, age etc 🔊 Naomi was only 17 when she got married. 🔊 There are only a few cars on the island. 🔊 It’s only eight o'clock.2 ONLYused to say that something or someone is not very important, serious etc 🔊 It was only a joke. 🔊 It’s an interesting job, but it’s only temporary. 🔊 They’re only small cuts, nothing life-threatening.3 ONLYnothing or no one except a particular person or thing 🔊 Only the president can authorize a nuclear attack. 🔊 We use only the best ingredients.women/men/residents etc only 🔊 The car park is for staff only.4 ONLYused to say that something happens or is possible in one particular situation or place and no others, or for one particular reason 🔊 I’ll tell you, but only if you don’t tell anyone else. 🔊 I ate the food, but only because I was starving. 🔊 The transfer takes place only when the data is complete.GRAMMAR: Word orderOnly usually comes between the subject and the main verb: I only saw two people.Only usually comes between an auxiliary verb and a main verb: I can only see two people. When you want to emphasize what you are saying, you sometimes use only at the beginning of a sentence, and put the auxiliary verb before the subject: Only later did I understand what she meant.Only by improving social and economic conditions can good health be achieved. 5 TIME/AT A PARTICULAR TIMEno earlier than a particular timeonly yesterday/last week/recently 🔊 ‘When did you email her?’ ‘Only yesterday.’only then did/would/could etc somebody do something (=at that moment and not before) 🔊 Only then did she tell him about the attack.6 only just7 can only hope/wait etc8 I can only think/suppose/assume (that)9 I only wish/hope10 if only11 you’ll only12 you only have to read/look at/listen to etc something13 only to14 only too not only ... but (also) at not(4), → only have eyes for somebody at eye1(32), → for somebody’s eyes only at eye1(25)
Examples from the Corpus
onlyShe was only 17 when she got married.I got these four chairs for only $99.The restrooms are for customers only.She doesn't earn very much. She's only a cashier."Is it far?" "No, it's only a mile away."This Jesuit was not only a profound preacher, but the founder of orphanages and improver of prison conditions.Only Denny got all six answers right.I only did it because I thought you wanted me to.High impact aerobics is only for people who are extremely fit.The bee orchid is a rare plant normally only found in Mediterranean climates.It is a quality that comes not only from advisory, but from the organization of instruction as well.I was only gone 15 minutes.I only got here last night.We only have a very small garden.He says he'll come, but only if you promise not to tease him.These flowers grow only in Hawaii.Oh, come on. I was only joking.She only married him for his money.The manager is master only of his actions, not the outcomes of those actions.Not only on deck, but on watch.You only see what the movement needs.He seemed to be smiling, but he might have been only squinting against the light.Ms Walker said she only started stealing because her children were hungry.Women only swimming sessions are held every Thursday.Of 112 outfits, I had only the haziest recollection of red, pink and leopard-print.In other words, only those agreeing with you are driven by moral belief or true conviction.Becky was only three when she started to read.You're only wearing a T-shirt. No wonder you're cold.women/men/residents etc onlyThe Parkins' house stood in a drive marked at the entrance with a notice restricting access to residents only.There are other events for women only.Brown Men only eat nuts, berries and apples, and use their bows and arrows to chase hunters away from innocent game.Have you ever noticed how a tradition, specifically concerning men only, has changed since the end of the last war?But it took many by surprise, those who still imagined that women only loved; whereas men lusted.In particular the notion that nurse training is for the young and for women only must be dispelled; no mean task.Their Mostly Men range with its distinctive packaging is a superb collection of men only products.Two men only would advance to the semis.only whenOr should it be raised only when a family member needs a transplant?Medical help is likely to be sought only when hypoglycaemia is severe and the patient is unconscious, agitated, or uncooperative.It was only when I started to receive my magazine that I realised just how courageous the lifeboat crews are.But it so chanced it was covered deep, and came to light only when I was here to see.He challenges the orthodox view that elderly people turn to formal agencies for help only when informal support is absent or inadequate.Size is a virtue only when it is combined with flexibility.The terror ended only when the weary throng dissipated itself.Got up only when they made the bed, a bed bath twice a week.only then did/would/could etc somebody do somethingBut as feelings of guilt suddenly swamped her, only then did Fabia appreciate how much she had been herself with Ven.I confess that only then did I begin to appreciate the difficulties that Richard Montacune had faced.For only then did it come to her that - she still hadn't done her interview!And only then did they switch on the light.
onlyonly2 ●●● S1 W1 adjective [only before noun] 🔊 🔊 1 used to say that there is one person, thing, or group in a particular situation and no others 🔊 I was the only woman there. 🔊 He is our only child. 🔊 I was the only one who disagreed. 🔊 Cutting costs is the only solution. 🔊 She’s the only person for this job.2 the only thing/problem is ...3 an only child
Examples from the Corpus
onlyCloned mutated genes were fully sequenced to ensure that the only changes were those required.The only clue had come in the late morning.But it was not the only one.Even so, my right hand is clenched into a fist, the only outward sign that I am afraid.The only surprise was that the game finished with all 22 participants present.the only oneIn the supermarket and the local shop they are, at present, the only one.But prosecutors say Gomez is the only one charged with actually shooting into the vehicle.He was the only one from the island out.But that will, of course, is the only one that's valid.The attache was the only one that was locked, and the only one that seemed to contain anything.He was the only one to keep moving at the same speed.Dana had to be shielded from Roman's anger, and she was the only one who could do that.I think I am the only one who hasn't had to pay any fines for not missing a tournament.
onlyonly3 ●○○ conjunction spoken 🔊 🔊 BUTused like ‘but’ to give the reason why something is not possible syn except (that) 🔊 I’d offer to help, only I’m really busy just now.
Examples from the Corpus
onlyI'd offer to help, only I'm kind of busy right now.
Pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
Click on the pictures to check.