General Writing and Grammar Help/Only #2

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is there any difference in meaning between the following two sentences?

1) They play ONLY poker on Saturday nights.

2) They play poker ONLY on Saturday nights.

Thank you,

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

I want to add another thought to this question.  Although the response I have given you is correct, the sentence #2 is somewhat tricky.  The two sentences may appear EQUAL in content, but they are not.  All that #2 tells you is that Saturday nights are for poker playing and no other card games.  If you wonder about the rest of the week, you will not know, from this sentence, what games, if any, they play.

The "SET" is somewhat misleading, Paolo.

Ted

***********************

Is there any difference in meaning between the following two sentences?

1) They play ONLY poker on Saturday nights.

2) They play poker ONLY on Saturday nights.

*** In this set, you are restricted to knowledge about poker playing ONLY.

Both sentences mean that Saturday nights are reserved for playing poker ONLY.  They may also play poker, if they choose, on Monday or Wednesday or any other nights.  But, POKER IS THE ONLY GAME PLAYER ON SATURDAY NIGHTS.  Of course, they may play other card games during the week, but that information is not given.  

Ted

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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