In Harry Potter:

Ron was so amazed, so impressed, he just sat and gaped at Harry.

“I start training next week,” said Harry. “Only don’t tell anyone, Wood wants to keep it a secret.”

What does "only" mean here?

1 Answer 1


In this sentence, only is used as a conjunction.

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

conjunction informal

Except that; but.

‘he is still a young man, only he seems older because of his careworn expression’ ‘the place was like school, only better’

In the text the sentence is broken up by "said Harry." What Harry actually said was: "I start training next week. Only don't tell anyone, Wood wants to keep it a secret."

You can see more about conjunctions, including starting a sentence with a conjunction, here.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .