I searched the online dictionaries but I cannot find the meaning of:

but only because

So, Could you please explain it to me?

The text is here:

The first time I saw King’s College, Cambridge, I didn’t think I was dreaming, but only because my imagination had never produced anything so grand.

1 Answer 1


I think Longman's fourth definition of only might be of help here:

only (adverb) used to say that something happens in one particular situation, or for one particular reason : I’ll tell you, but only if you don’t tell anyone else

So the author is saying: because her imagination had never seen anything so grand, she figured that she could not be dreaming.


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