only

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only is part of the Basic English 850.
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only is one of the 1000 most common headwords.
only

Pronunciation[change]

Adverb[change]

Positive
only

Comparative
none

Superlative
none

  1. no more than; no other than; just
    There are only three schools in this town.
    You can get this only in Canada.
    I'm only able to go on Monday.
    He comes only once a year.
    She only eats vegetables.
    This is only what we got.
    He's not only nice, but also good looking.
    We will stop only to rest.
    Things will only get worse.
    Only call me if you have to.

Usage notes[change]

If only is the first word of a sentence, then the word order changes.

You should call me only when you are ready to go.
Only when you are ready to go should you call me.

Adjective[change]

Positive
only

Comparative
none

Superlative
none

  1. Just one or just a few; this and no other; no more than this.
    She is the only woman doctor in this city.
    These are the only coins I have.
  2. An only child, son, girl, etc. has no brothers or sisters.

Preposition[change]

Preposition
only

  1. (informal) but; except that
    They probably could do it, only you never let them try.