I heard, "The store will be having a sale, not for today only"

What does "not for today only" mean in this sentence? Does the "only" modify "not for today" or does the "only" modify "today"?

  • 2
    I don't think that the person who said this was a native English-speaker. It is pointless trying to analyse bad English. (Note how the future tense of the main clause clashes with the idea that there is a sale today.)
    – user81561
    Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 17:20
  • Unless this is a correction, it is, as Greybeard says, unidiomatic. "The store will be having a sale, and it will not just be for one day, Friday" is idiomatic, even with 'just' before 'be' rather than 'one'. Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 17:42
  • 1
    "Standard" wording would be The store will be [is?] having a sale, [for] today only. So although in and of itself the cited usage isn't actually idiomatic (hence @Greybeard's comment), you just might encounter it from a native speaker using slightly quirky phrasing to draw attention to the fact that this particular sale isn't the normal "for today only" kind (maybe it lasts all week, I dunno). But in any event, only can only modify today, regardless of whether the standard construction is being [slightly facetiously] negated or not. Commented Dec 27, 2020 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


Because "for today, only" is a common expression in regard to sales, I would think it applies to the whole expression.

However, it's not the usual way of expressing it. Normally, a sale that last a week or a month would give the time, or omit it entirely. (The reason for giving "today only" is to make people think they better grab while it's available.)

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