soley ( solely ) v/s only

< Previous | Next >

Camis12

Senior Member
England, English
I would be very grateful if someone is able to recommend a link where a comprehensive explanation of the difference in use between these two words is explained (or provide such and explanation yourself of course)?

Thanks,

H
 
Last edited:
  • Camis12

    Senior Member
    England, English
    oooops, thanks to whoever changed the thread title.

    In the wordref dictionary definition you cite soundshift, only is given as a synomn of solely, but for me the usage is not the same.

    For instance:
    "I am solely responsible for the project" is not the same as
    "I am only responsible for the project"

    I'm look for a rule to explain where to use one or the other. The description that GreenWhiteBlue gives is helpful, I don't know if anyone has anything to add?
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Solely has two meanings: it can be used as a synonym for "only" (which may also include "entirely"—see examples [OED]), or it can mean "as a single person"; without the aid or involvement of anyone else.

    "The questions at issue do not relate solely to Egypt and the Soudan." (The questions don't only relate to these countries, but to others, too.)
    "In all his acts he relied solely on himself." (He relied only/entirely on himself.)

    In your example it means "I alone am responsible, and no one else". In this case it is not a synonym of "only" (it is closer to meaning "alone") as your second example means something different:
    "I am only responsible for the project" (I'm responsible for the project, but not anything else.)

    However, it can be synonymous if used in a different way:
    "Only I am responsible for the project"
    although it sounds somewhat stiff or awkward.

    I don't think there is an easy "rule" to differentiate between these words, as they are closely related, and can mean different (or the same) things according to context and even word order.



     
    Last edited:

    Gavin Douglas

    New Member
    English
    Funny thing. The words Soley Soley of the Middle of the Road song I always thought were spelt "Soleil Soleil", being the French for sun. It seemed to make sense in the context of the lyrics, which I never read, of course. I imagine the song might have been composed with this in mind and the spelling became an obfuscation.
     

    downright Esoteric

    New Member
    Swedish
    Funny thing. The words Soley Soley of the Middle of the Road song I always thought were spelt "Soleil Soleil", being the French for sun. It seemed to make sense in the context of the lyrics, which I never read, of course. I imagine the song might have been composed with this in mind and the spelling became an obfuscation.
    I'm confused, wouldn't they be pronounced "solayl"? Anyways, even sole comes from French seul I guess. Like 'seulement', one of few things I recall from French class.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top