Possible Duplicate:
Correct position of “only”
Use of “only” and word-order

Should one say

The bidders shall not be permitted to bid for one or two tenders only.


The bidders shall not be permitted to bid for only one or two tenders.


1 Answer 1


Both versions are normal English - only can shift around, to the extent that sometimes (not here) it may actually be ambiguous what exactly it modifies.

In common parlance people would probably place the word only immediately before one or two, if only because that particular numeric range is the primary focus of the word.

But OP's example being relatively formal (as indicated by the word shall), it's more likely to come at the end. The reader in such a context is expected to be capable of parsing one or two tenders as a complete syntactic unit modified by only.

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