"only" as the ending of a phrase, is it correct?

Is it correct to use (in writing) only in the end, as in sentences like: it will take two minutes only, this can happen in one case only, we will obtain one result only, etc. (instead of only two minutes,…)?

It’s quite commonly used by Czech people writing in English, and it seemed quite awkward to me at first, but now I’ve seen it so many times I’m not sure any more.



It is fine, but it should not be overdone; standard placement of “only” is before the constituent that it is to modify; a different position should normally be motivated by emphasis or other factors.

Cerberus, Can you explain it with some examples(being a native speaker)? Apparently, lot of usage/misusage of “only” can be seen in Asian English. I always try to use it appropriately. :slight_smile:

Well I am not a native speaker, and the placement of “only” is not so much bound by rules: the sentences Katcha mentioned are all OK grammar-wise. It just depends on context whether they are appropriate according to style and composition. “It will take two minutes only”, for example, would be quite unusual in most contexts, but the others should be more common. Gkukreti, could you think of an example yourself that you have doubts about?

Thanks for the answer. Just to sum it up if I got it right: although it is gramatically correct, it might look strange when every use of “only” in a text appears after the constituent it is to modify (as you call it).