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The word “only” is an adjective that diminishes (makes smaller in significance) the words with which it’s used.  If you say that, “It’s only 10:00,” it sounds like the time is not late. He’s only four years old. That sounds like a very young person whose abilities or expectations are limited by his young age. 

You can also use “only” as an adverb that modifies a verb. I only want  one thing.  In this sentence, “only” modifies “want.” 

Here are some examples for ways to use the word "only."

  1. 1. She could only attend the meeting if it were scheduled in the morning. (This was a condition for her attendance.)
  2. 2. The store has only a few items left on the clearance rack. (All of the good stuff that was on the rack had already been purchased.)
  3. 3. I can only work on this project during the weekends. (I have no other time to work on it.)
  4. 4. The concert tickets were only available online. (You couldn’t purchase the tickets at the gate.)
  5. 5. He suddenly realized he had only one week left to file his taxes. (This is a very short amount of time.)
  6. 6. The bakery is open only in the morning. (If you go there in the afternoon, it will be closed.)
  7. 7. Only if we work together can we solve this problem. (We must work together for a solution.)
  8. 8. The museum is open to the public only on weekdays. (Members of the public can’t go there on the weekend. Authorized personnel can go there on the weekend.)
  9. 9. She discovered that the library had only two copies of the book available. (After she checked it out, there was one more available.)
  10. 10. The restaurant serves its special dish only during the holiday season. (You can’t order it any other time.)
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