A. We no longer worry about only how to stay alive ; we now worry about working for a living and how to spend our spare time .

B. Older print publication systems had no capability to know what the information was about—only how to format it on the printed page.

In both sentences A and B, does "only" modify "how to stay alive" and "how to format it on the printed page"?

According to the explanation written below from Cambridge dictionary, this explanation seems to be applied to sentences A and B, so I think that "only" modifies "how to stay alive" and "how to format it on the printed page".

If the focus is a whole clause, we can put only in front position: My arm hurts but only when I try to raise it.

In this example, according to the explanation, since the focus is put on "when I try to raise it", I think "only" modifies "when I try to raise it".


We were given an exercise in school.

We were given the sentence:

"The bishop gave the baboon the bun."

We were asked to put "only" into this sentence between each word in turn (including at the beginning and at the end), and asked to interpret what it modified the sentence to mean in each case.

In each case, "only" modifies the thing following it.

I offer this exercise up as one that you may want to do.

Yes I know this does not answer this question. I don't really care.

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