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One learner from a forum was asking me about starting this sentence "You were the only one I loved" with the "I" in the front.

He made this sentence:

  • I loved only you one

I told him that was incorrect because "one" was wrong there, but couldn't explain why. Instead I gave him two options which I think both mean the same:

  1. I loved only you alone.
  2. I loved you and only you.

He asked why "alone" is correct while "one" isn't and once again I couldn't explain this.

Please, explain why his sentence is wrong and tell me if there's a difference between my options.

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    I would not say "only you alone" is correct. You already said "only", so "alone" is redundant and non-fluent sounding, although you could say "I loved only you" or "I loved you alone". Your second sentence sounds much better. – stangdon Sep 19 '17 at 18:17
  • @stangdon Ah, yes, redundancy is one of my troubles. Thnx for pointing it out friend. – SovereignSun Sep 19 '17 at 18:22
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    one is a pronoun in "You are the one" where alone in "I love you alone" is an object complement meaning "exclusively". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 19 '17 at 18:26
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We can make two things one. We can consider two things one. But we cannot love two things one.

There, one means "a whole, a unit, undivided, intact, unbroken".

The leader hoped to make her divided people one.

After they said their "I dos" the minister said, "Now you are one".

When the desired meaning is exclusively, we use alone.

He loved her alone.

She alone was the one he loved.

He loved her and her alone.

She and she alone was the one he loved.

  • Maybe I ever loved only you will do? – Michael Login Sep 19 '17 at 19:03
  • @Mv Log: "ever" in "I ever loved" is grammatical, but not demotic AmE. The average speaker of AmE would regard it as "flowery language". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Sep 19 '17 at 19:08
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This sentence: I loved only you one, is incorrect because Only one can't be separated. This is grammatically incorrect. When you separate it, it doesn't sound right, and doesn't make any sense.

You were the only one I loved expresses a complete meaning, while the other (I loved only you one) does not.

  • Please note my edits of your answer, as you made many basic grammatical mistakes. These may seem minor, but proper English grammar is vital, especially when answering questions about the language. – Andrew Sep 19 '17 at 19:28

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