he only found two mistakes & he found only two mistakes

lu   Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:57 am GMT
what's the difference between the two sentence?
bever   Sat Sep 02, 2006 12:25 pm GMT
I think the difference is as follows:

"he only found two mistakes"
=he did nothing else but find those mistakes
"he ONLY found two mistakes!" (emphasis on the only) suggests that he accomplished what others couldn't or didn't expect him to and that his detractors should get a clue

"he found only two mistakes"
=he found no more than two mistakes
zxczxc   Sat Sep 02, 2006 3:08 pm GMT
Normally though either could be used.
Glikeria   Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:20 am GMT
I don't know how fast and hard this rule is, but I read in a grammar book that we should place "only" before all verbs except modals, auxiliaries and be, regardless of which word it emphasizes.

I only work 4 days a week.
She can only come next week.
Meg is only free on Sundays.
They have only been married for a month.
David   Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:23 am GMT
He only found two mistakes -> could mean: there were many mistakes, but he only found two of them.

He found only two mistakes -> He found only two mistakes, the text was well-written.