0

This question already has an answer here:

As an English learner, I have been confused about the position of the adverb from the beginning. Here is a question which puzzles me:

A) It only took him ten minutes to do the test.

B) It took him only ten minutes to do the test.

Are they both grammatically correct? It will be appreciated if anyone could give me a detailed explanation.

marked as duplicate by user140086, Nathaniel is protesting, Mitch, Sven Yargs, Brian Hooper Jan 9 '16 at 14:57

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

1

Presuming "only" means "an occurrence of less than expected degree, amount or number".

  1. It only {took him ten minutes to top up the engine oil}.
    My car had the engine light on, so I brought it to the mechanic. I expected repairs involving

    • removing the engine block
    • replacing it with a new one
    • change the serpentine belt
    • replace with a new battery
    • and 10 minutes to fill up the engine oil

    But there was actually nothing wrong with the car, and it only involved him 10 minutes to top up the engine oil.
    There was nothing wrong with the car. It only took him a good 10 minutes, to top up the engine oil. Yes, all it took to set the engine light off, was 10 minutes to top up the engine oil.

  2. It took him only 10 minutes to top up the engine oil.

    • I had expected him to take 30 mins to top up the engine oil.
    • But it took him only 10 mins to top up the engine oil.
  3. You only need to spend 10 mins with him. You don't have to cook him breakfast or pick his toys up.

  4. You need to spend only 10 mins with him. You don't have to spend even half an hour with him.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.