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My dog only likes people food.

My dog likes only people food.

My dog likes people food only.

In each of these sentences, how does "only" affect it (i.e. emphasis and meaning)? Are any of them incorrect?

My understanding is that the first sentence conveys my dog liking people food and nothing else (not limited to food). The second sentence is slightly different - my dog doesn't dislike everything, but when it comes to food the only food he likes is people food.

Is there a good rule for the placement of "only" in sentences? Which is the most grammatical and comprehendible/unambiguous?

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, tchrist, Centaurus, Tushar Raj, Chenmunka May 26 '15 at 8:56

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They all mean the same to me (native speaker.) The first one sounds natural, and expresses the idea about food without implying anything about non-food. The other two, while not strictly wrong, sound a bit awkward, without conveying any additional meaning.

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