We (recruit only/only recruit) the best staff.

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EdisonBhola

Senior Member
Korean
Hi all, I think there's a difference between "We only recruit the best staff" and "We recruit only the best staff". "We only recruit the best staff" suggests that we do nothing other than recruiting, while "we recruit only the best staff" suggests that there are other things we do, but when it comes to recruiting, only the best staff will be recruited.

Do you see a difference? Or am I imagining things?
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    In real life, I don't think there's any difference. Most recruitment agencies specialized in recruitment, so I don't think of them as doing anything else unless they announce it. Certainly, I wouldn't make the distinction you're making if I heard one or the other used by an agency.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    The difference is largely imaginary. 'Only' usually goes early in the sentence; that's its normal, unemphatic place. But it can also be used before or after a phrase to emphasize it. (This works better in speech than in writing.) In yours, 'only the best staff' is suitable for emphasis. But the other order would be understood with the same meaning.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Hi all, I think there's a difference between "We only recruit the best staff" and "We recruit only the best staff". "We only recruit the best staff" suggests that we do nothing other than recruiting, while "we recruit only the best staff" suggests that there are other things we do, but when it comes to recruiting, only the best staff will be recruited.

    Do you see a difference? Or am I imagining things?
    There is a difference, and you are not imagining things. Careful writers place words like "only" immediately next to the phrases to which they apply, and "only the best staff" is clearly the meaning intended. Good for you! :thumbsup:
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Speakers are often not as careful as writers. "Only the best staff" sounds haughtier to me than "We only recruit...."
     
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