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I asked a question just now.

I am not sure if this sentence is grammatical and idiomatic.

the guy only loves baseball in the scope of available options.

Is this case, which one is more appropriate, "only loves baseball" or "loves only baseball"?

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only is a magical word, and it has the ability to change the meaning of a sentence by its placement.

in written English, “only” is put as close as possible to the word or phrase it modifies.

Check this:

The new software only confused the secretary

...means the new software only confused her; it does not make her angry

Only the new software confused the secretary

...means she is okay with rest all tools except the new software.

More examples of placement of 'only' are fun to read here.

So,

the guy only loves baseball

...means the guy only loves it, he may not prefer playing it (though I love X sport may also mean that you love playing it. But it is just to make you understand)!

On the other hand,

the guy loves only baseball

...means he does not like any other sport.

  • You could also add 'The new software confused only the secretary' meaning they were the only one confused by it. – Smock Sep 16 '19 at 9:58

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