The function of "only" and "even"


I asked the same question of others and I still do not know why.


Even you should do it.


Only you can do it. 


I think that Even and Only modify you respectiviely although it is an adverb, but some teachers do not agree with it. So I would like to hear from other experts here. What do you think?


Thank you so much as usual and have a good day. 

asked Oct 20 '12 at 03:27 Hans Contributor

1 answer


Even is used to talk about surprising extremes- when people do more than we expect. Even most often goes mid-position.

She has completed her homework. She has even completed mine.

He speaks English well. He even speaks German.


Even goes at the beginning of a clause. when it refers to the subject of a sentence; and it can go just before other words and expressions that we want to emphasize.

Anybody can do this problem. Even you can do it/Even a child can do it.

He eats anything-even raw potatoes.

I work late at night, even on Sundays.


Only can be used a focussing adverb. It(Only) always comes before the subject it refers to.

"Only you can do it."

When it refers to other parts of a sentence, it often goes in mid-position.

She only called me on the phone last night.

She is only on duty on Tuesdays.

She was only making a noise in the classroom.


Ambigous sentences:


They only play poker on Saturday nights.

Another way of making the meaning more clear and precise is to split the sentence by using a relative structure.

Poker is the only game they play on Saturday nights.


Only with a time expression can mean "as recently as" or "not before"

My  clothes will only be ready by Friday.

link comment answered Oct 20 '12 at 04:38 sanjay Expert

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