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Uhm, I came across this phrase when I was reading a story. I think "only" is used as an adjective here, but I haven't seen it before. I think it should have been followed by a noun , am I right? If this phrase is correct, please tell me about the usage of "only" in the following sentence:

"Being by himself was the only time when he felt he was being honest with the people around him, and then it was only because, of course, there weren't any."

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    Can you give the whole sentence please?
    – John Feltz
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 14:45
  • "Being by himself was the only time when he felt he was being honest with the people around him, and then it was only because, of course, there weren't any." -> here is the whole sentence.
    – Sylvia
    Commented Nov 23, 2016 at 14:49

1 Answer 1

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"it was only because" is a stock phrase. It means

the only reason for (it) is because...

where (it) is whatever the point under discussion is - in this case, the whole complicated concept of "being honest with the people around him"

In plain and stilted language, you could say:

Being by himself was the only time when he felt he was being honest with the people around him. The only reason that he felt this way is because, of course, there weren't any people around him when he was by himself.

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